FALL COLLECTIONS • TOP FIVE LONDON
by Jeremy Danté
the british style society is one of privilege and secrecy. with it’s proximity to paris and milan, it’s interesting to see the ways that rebellion is etched in the style history of london. it’s also interesting to see the ways that formality of tailoring and that rebellion lead into an intersection today. there has been an interesting struggle with the fashion calendar, particularly with menswear and london continues to fight for it’s place as a priority on the fashion map, sandwiched between the enormous showing of new york fashion week and milan fashion week. all said, there is only good design that can truly make a difference, and the labels seem to be doing just fine in that arena. representing design and influence in a way that only the british can, this season’s showing was one of strength. from vibrance, to the new influences of minimalism which seem to live in every corner of the fashion globe- these were my favorites of the season from our friends across the pond.
ERDEM starting the season off with a bang, erdem added coloring to the fall season. really dope use of floral, and most impressive were the use of floral in an ombre’d technique that took the outerwear to a new level. started in london, the design label is among british style society’s favorites. there were mod silhouettes, a take on tweeds and even some silhouettes that were reminiscent of valentino. while I’m not a fan of print, or complicated design, i think the ways that the collection was produced, and the story that was told for the season was super interesting. each piece held it’s own, adding themselves into this overall powerful collection of bold new style. inspired by interior design and an installation seen at the frieze master art fair; you could definitely feel the interiors influence, in the use of florals which almost drew a likeness to wallpaper. containing an art collectors feel for the season. i think the collection makes a strong statement, and will do well amongst the international retail audience, in the luxury sector. thinking like an editor, the collection would be dope for use of bold color themed editorials as that seems to be the concept trend of choice for designers for fall 2015. strong casting, which represented diversity and there was a rich, decadent aesthetic with this collection which was inspiring for me, in a new way, that rethinks style intricacy. a collection i wouldn’t have normally selected, i have to be mindful of london’s own independent style direction. the erdem label is definitely mindful of representing such flavoring, from season to season, and there was a great deal of continuity for the season, in adding another collection to the house DNA.
GARETH PUGH (concepts are the strength of gareth pugh, and even in this way that lacks actual function. it’s almost as if thats the beauty of it though. pugh returns to the mindset that fashion shows are, well, just that- a show! often a dark aesthetic, pugh stayed true to himself as a designer with his runway show which opted out of his usual fashion film format. with clothes seeming more like armor, there was a confrontational edge from the collection, more so than usual. the expected use of fur and leather was there; which is a par to the brand’s identity. even as some of the clothes in the collection were less functional, to the untrained eye. there was a wearability about this collection, in contrast to seasons past. i really loved the unabashed approach to further of pugh’s aesthetic. but after a while, the desensitized approach, and style stubbornness wears your senses thin. your expectations become numbed and all the collections begin to look the same. i loved the beauty theme of the collection with the red painted faces of the models. but would like to see something a bit more expansive. i would love to see a dark attempt at evening wear; just to prove that pugh has more up his sleeve than flowing outerwear and black fur. it’s all dope, but to a certain degree- fashion is about versatility and his concepts seem to be at a stand still. still! that being said, his collections are among the most bold, and his vision and execution set him apart. would love to see versatility going into next season, and a play on delicacy and romanticism. pugh is definitely a visionary, and his collection archive shows a very specific vision, now it’s time to broaden that horizon. vision is not enough when it’s not expansive.
PAUL SMITH streamlined and sleek, the paul smith collections really draw back to classic british tailoring. a beautiful fall palette of heavy tones of blue and brown, with the expected use of black- the collection hosted flares of yellow and flushes of pink as well. i loved the reinterpretation of plaid, as well as the feminized approach to menswear. the collection fits well into the existing market, while the brand visage of paul smith was never once smeared. there is a way that interpretation of certain design influences begin to trickle and what’s exceptional of the paul smith label is their revisiting and reminders of what is classic. there is a standardization in the collections, in this timeless and effortless way. turtle necks and wider silhouettes were seen in the collection, enlarged coat pockets and large button shift dresses were seen through the collection, which hosted a pretty strict palette. while other labels have been opting for bold tones this fall, paul smith remained stern in it’s own vision of style. i love that most of collections. as anna wintour said of new york, and i am now relating to show season as a whole, and fashion as an entire industry. she mentioned that labels are really strong in their own identity, and that’s what makes them stand out most. i think a clear point of view is always the most attractive. we love labels with an established heritage, which refer back to their own archives instead of trends or concepts that others are producing. while not the most forward thinking, i think there is an important classicism in london that is needed, as far as representation in the united kingdom. paul smith is a label we can always count on to deliver such an aesthetic- for men and women.
JULIEN MACDONALD fashion is a new business these days, in that, a collection can debut one day and it’s on a celebrity’s back the very next day, across the world. so was the case of julien macdonald, and their PR team getting it on the back of country pop singer, taylor swift. it’s that kind of PR that allows for the concepts to take on greater form and influence even faster. the focus for julien macdonald was evening wear, in an almost sinister way. there are often dark overtones for fall collections, which I’m all for. the collection hosted a range of intricate designs that were almost embroidery influenced. the collection featured laser cut leather dresses, which paired well alongside other dresses in the collection, simply for their attention to detail. while the collection hosts strong concepts, those concepts were divided into looks, and only one strong concept was presented. through it’s strength, however, that one design theme was enough to carry through, in a way that will be instantly recognizable once this collection hits retail. there was a festish-eque quality to the designs, which was interesting. there were satin robes; and chokers, all in this very sensual way. there is a polish to the collection and i selected this season’s set as a top in london for it’s strength and cohesion though to the end, in design. i always look at collections and judge based on editorial value as well. this collection would be dope for a range of editorial themes. definitely looking forward to the ways that the glossies will style this collection up.
J.W. ANDERSON presented with a bit of 80’s style futurism, the J.W. anderson collection was among the best, conceptually out of london. while the designer’s spring collection seemingly went viral with the oversized brimmed hats he presented, this collection cuts away from such concepts, presenting something entirely free from the previous season. which i appreciate. the new wave collection interpretations reminded me of ghesquiere for balenciaga; the silhouettes were sleek and modern, but in a familiar way. i loved the use of color and leather in this collection. a true presentation of style from a specific viewpoint was seen here. i always love labels that interpret styles drastically different from season; so was the case of this collection. while there were more vibrant, almost trend driven pieces, i naturally gravitated towards the more minimal pieces. i loved the use of warm caramel tones in the collection, and felt the focus of accessories as well. everything from the earrings to the knee-high boots, it was all very well communicated as a new wave inspiration. belted waists ruled the collection, for silhouettes of noted visibility. a range of style was seen, and while new wave was the focus, it was done so in this very versatile way that can still be managed for today’s modern market. the cleanly designed dresses in single tones can cater to the minimal consumer, and the punches of color can go to everyone else. containing a varied number of concepts with use of print, to use of textiles; the collection packed a powerful punch as the most far spanning in london. it seemed to take the main attractions of each of my selections and combine them, in one oddly attractive collection.
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