London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012-13: Peplums, Puffa Jackets, The Seventies and Traditional Brit
22nd OF February 2012
London showed the fashion world its designers have a punkish youth, Seventies nostalgia, Victoriana roots and certainly know how to cut a suit. The quirky Brit sensibility was stamped all over the collections and yet many designers surprised with a maturity that meant wearability and saleability.
By Julia Frank
Stella McCartney held a special preview presentation of eveningwear (her main collection will be shown in Paris). A vegetarian (what else?) dinner was served, followed by Alexa Chung being hypnotised by a magician.
If that didn’t take the star-studded guests by surprise – including Rihanna, Kate Moss and Mario Testino – the flash mob surely did. Models, waiters and planted performers erupted into dance, showcasing the black and white floor-length dresses with nude mesh inserts and lace jumpsuits with sporty necklines.
Burberry Prorsum’s Christopher Bailey said he “wanted to take an affectionate look at British clichés”. Herringbone tweeds, corduroy, velvet and bird motifs were modernised by peplums, bow belts and exaggerated shapes. Puffa jackets, traditional Burberry trenchcoats and striped umbrellas were paraded as a downpour of foil drenched the runway.
Emma Hill, Mulberry’s creative director presented vests and coats in tiger-print fur, mustard and shades of brown.
Lana Del Rey toted her new namesake Mulberry bag in the front row, alongside Michelle Williams, Elizabeth Olsen, Olivia Palermo and Anna Wintour.
Vivienne Westwood Red Label attracted opposites with tribal tattoos, British tweeds, rugby jumpers and Peter Pan hats modelled before an equally abstract front row of Heston Blumenthal, Mary Charteris, Janice Dickinson and Harold Tillman.
Topshop Unique, with Emma Farrow designing and former Vogue UK fashion editor Kate Phelan consulting, was all about oversized utilitarian outerwear while Paul Smith’s men’s tailoring in wintry shades with splashes of neon and pink ombre included bespeckled models, sleeveless coats and velvet-on-velvet ensembles.
Jonathan Saunders, winner of this year’s BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund Award, included geometric prints, sportswear-inspired sweaters and quilted coats in his collection of muted Seventies colours with lime and lilac accents.
Matthew Williamson cited palaces in St Petersburg, Jeff Koons and military coats as his inspirations, which translated into brocade and bronze lamé, blue neons, bohemia print dresses and orange leather.
Peter Pilotto, by duo Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, explored Asian subcultures through puffa jackets, some with silver peplums, figure-hugging dresses in optical prints and rainbow fur bibs in a collection that was commercially viable and utterly desirable.
Christopher Kane, London’s wunderkind, impressed yet again with an explosion of cobalt and black leopard print and an enlarged wood-grain print on shiny leather as well as rectangular jackets, integrated belts and leather piping.
Erdem designer Erdem Moralioglu, whose references included Peggy Guggenheim and painting, displayed leather masquerading as tweed, belted dresses with trompe l'oeil bodices, neon lace overlays and shoes by fellow Brit It-designer Nicholas Kirkwood.
Mark Fast, who can count front-rower Kanye West as a fan, showed a cobalt, navy and grey collection of twisted and hole-y knits with pearl fringing and midriffs.
The Sarah Burton-helmed Alexander McQueen diffusion line, McQ, celebrated its inaugural catwalk offering with knee-high lace-up boots, elbow-length gloves, full-skirted coats and kilts in tartan and frothy tulle. With autumn leaves strewn on the floor, giant saucers of hair perched on the models’ heads and Kristen McMenamy modelling all white, this fusion of military and romantic had McQueen written all over it.
Mary Katrantzou, London’s queen of print, opened a crayon box and manipulated Surrealist images of phone dials, typewriter keys, watch faces, furniture, car dashboards, maze gardens and clothes hangers. Her futuristic garment construction was touched by Victoriana – bustles, peplums, corsets and ruffled necklines.
The Meadham Kirchhoff show included a sequinned psychedelic rainbow pantsuit, leopard print underwear over metallic striped tights and a shaggy tinsel skirt paired with Clown-ish make-up and spray painted hair.
It was as if Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff had let loose on a children’s art class and the hyperbolic fashions were a Seventies disco sensory overload.
Share your comments
Top Fashion Week Stories
Suboo at Mercedes Benz Fashion...
Guests at Suboo were presented with a mirror image...READ MORE
Easton Pearson at Mercedes Ben...
In terms of sheer luxury and lavish spectacle, Eas...READ MORE
Watson X Watson at Mercedes Be...
The weather has only just started to get cooler an...READ MORE
Thai Style Spiced Pumpkin & Gi...
One of my favourite meals, especially in winter, w...READ MORE
Great Gatsby Sydney Premiere, ...
The Great Gatsby has premiered in Sydney, new deta...READ MORE
Changes to Compulsory Superann...
We've been hearing much of the changes to compulso...READ MORE