x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

London Fashion Week highlights

With 60 shows and a plethora of clothes, we pick out the top moments from London Fashion Week.

From left, Burberry Prorsum, House of Holland and Bora Aksu. AFP / AP / AFP
From left, Burberry Prorsum, House of Holland and Bora Aksu. AFP / AP / AFP

With 60 shows and a plethora of clothes, we highlight the top moments from London Fashion Week

Colour blocking

There was no room for the winter blues for Paul Smith, who embraced colour blocking for his autumn/winter collection. The British designer created his trademark boyfriend jackets and trousers in contrasting pinks, blues, greens and oranges.

“I’m not really a very extravagant designer in terms of lots of things happening, so I’ve always relied on little surprises, bits of colour,” Smith told reporters backstage, opening his suit jacket to reveal a bright and printed lining.

Smith let the colours do most of the talking, although they were interspersed with silk printed dresses, checked coats and blouses with subtle embellishments such as ruffles at the front, or drawn-up sleeves.

Headline act

Even though it has produced some of fashion’s biggest names, such as Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, London in the past has struggled to maintain its international profile on a par with Paris, Milan and New York.

But with stars such as the singer Rihanna and the fashion darling Tom Ford heading this year’s catwalk line-up, London is rising to the challenge.

In his London debut, the American designer Tom Ford unveiled a womenswear line that blended Inuit patterns, fur and pop-art -designs.

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel sat in the front row to watch a procession of sequinned bomber jackets, cowhide skirts and sheer evening dresses parade along an L-shaped catwalk illuminated by roving spotlights.

Whimsical wardrobe

Burberry sent a whimsical collection of its trademark trench coats down the catwalk embellished with heart motifs, animal prints and metallic detailing. “The collection was really about the iconic Burberry colours, so black, white, camel and red, mixed with a little bit of gold,” said the brand’s mastermind Christopher Bailey.

Revealing velvet dresses and feathered flower shapes sewn on to sheer tops and skirts featured across the collection. The Scottish designer also infused colourful camouflage prints, as well as floral appliqués, feathers and fur.

Models donned boxy jackets with contrasting buckles, loosely cut trousers and heavily embellished sheer silk dresses.

Retro vibe

The achingly cool House of Holland took over the third floor of a car park in Soho, laid out some drab brown carpet as a catwalk and let rip the retro funk in what the designer Henry Holland described as a “1970s meets 1990s nostalgic homage”.

London’s current “it” crowd of models, actresses, singers and DJs packed the front row to view a collection of 1970s-style prints in oranges and greens, parkas, denim jackets and sweatshirts embellished with jewels, wool and neon zips.

Tough love

Severe-looking leather corsets, exaggerated shoulders, shades of muddy greens and gunmetal: the Turkish designer Bora Aksu’s latest collection may feature lots of tough design elements, but his signature romantic style still shone through.

The London-based designer opened his show with a series of ivory crocheted dresses worn with high, buttoned-up shirt collars and followed with all-leather ensembles of capes, bomber and cropped jackets, and pencil skirts.

Later, models wore sweet baby-doll dresses in clouds of light, pleated chiffon but the best pieces layered the contrasting textures in one outfit: a suede corset worn over an ethereal navy blouse, or a gunmetal leather dress under a billowing, sheer purple cape.