The second week of the spring/summer 2014 fashion season brought the shows to London. With established labels such as Burberry and Pringle of Scotland alongside newcomers such as Simone Rocha and Meadham Kirchhoff, this year's shows brought together an eclectic mix of trends.
Delectable pastels played a major role in all of the new season collections as well as a heavy emphasis on romantic silhouettes.
Designers played with fabrics to create dreamy textures with strong references to nature through inspired prints, florals and water colours.
BLACK & WHITE
Erdem Moralioglu showcased an entirely black and white collection, set against a completely grey backdrop with the models walking on bare asphalt. The juxtaposition of layer upon layer of chiffon, tulle and fine ostrich feathers with the stark white and rich blacks was mesmerising. Another follower of the colour combination was Osman, who had his models walk in a slow, almost dreamlike state around the U-shaped white catwalk. Emma Hill's final collection for Mulberry included floral-printed black and white pieces in Hill's girlie minimalist style. However, designers such as Giles and Tom Ford paired the two tones together with a more sultry overall effect, combining leather with sequins for a polished look.
Roksanda Ilincic took a refreshing approach to next season's romantic trend by steering clear of sweet, bubblegum colours and focusing instead on a high-waisted, A-line silhouette. Integrating yellow with steel grey, blood orange and black, Ilincic played with a unique palette. Christopher Bailey's muse at Burberry Prorsum was the English rose who wears her Nottingham-lace pencil skirt with a matching shirt and buttery leather, oversized clutch. The look is complete with a casually thrown cashmere cardigan, sleeves expertly rolled up. At Vivienne Westwood Red Label we saw delicate draping and Van Gogh-worthy flowers. However, the models' faces and bodies were painted in typical Westwood fashion, only adding to the show's drama.
The most standout London designer who experimented with texture was Christopher Kane. Kane's lamé multicoloured shift dress displayed the incredible potential of textile innovation. From a solid glossy base to artfully frayed armholes and hems, the overall feel remained soft yet graphic. Antonio Berardi's collection also featured hints of silver lamé - but instead paired with bare skin in modern, almost sci-fi shapes. Bora Aksu's intricately designed cut-out crocheted details were stitched onto velvety chiffon for a three-dimensional effect.
From pale greens and blues to lilacs and pinks, Peter Pilotto's digital prints epitomised springtime pastels. The design duo's layered looks remained modern despite the ultra-feminine shades and shapes - with clean lines and starched white shirts over flowing skirts and dresses. Another digital print star, Mary Katrantzou, created her entire collection based on shoes - brogues, fairy-tale glass slippers and trainers. Delicious shades of orange, blue and yellow were haphazardly mixed together. At Burberry Prorsum we saw head-to-toe mint, peach and lavender - even a silk camel coat was paired with a pale purple scarf, wrapped around and tucked under the collar.
Models and guests alike tapped their feet to Matthew Williamson's catchy show beats. The bright collection showcased some of his most detailed pieces - cut-out flowers sewed onto printed skirts, with minute beads attached to each flower. Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhof were influenced by a playful Elizabethan character in a baby-doll dress with cap sleeves and ringlet hair. The gold thread used on parts of the collection gave the illusion of embellishment without the actual addition of heavy beading or crystals. Ashish's collection highlighted the beauty of Arabic writing. Dresses emblazoned with "Thank you, we await your return" in Arabic were paired with sequinned jackets, giant silver necklaces and embellished slippers.