Coming from the heart of Soho, London fashion week is renowned by its guests for its status as the best fashion week for individualism, and SS16/FW16 is no different. Here’s a roundup of what happened in some of the key catwalk shows for 2016, with an emphasis on ‘seasonless’ fashion, asymmetry and belts:
Topshop fashion unique SS16
A showcase of tailored suit jackets and trousers, big on giant polka dots and huge, mismatched earrings. Coats were a large feature, and were layered in new ways, with some sleeves pushed up to expose shirt sleeves, and some dropped off the shoulders. Furry stoles were carried over one shoulder, followed by models carrying furry doctor’s bags—fluff now not being exclusive to winter. This show was all about decadence, fusing Emily Gilmore with 80’s fashion. The models, including Bella Hadid, wore red lipstick and had Jane Birkin-esque fringes. A particular high point of the show was a sheer leopard print dress worn under a holey cricket vest jumper.
Christopher Kane SS16
Appearances suggested the models on this catwalk had met with an arty accident; torn trousers and paint-splattered tops were the vogue. With rips and childlike colour, it was as though sporty met Art Attack and was hospitalised. A blend of odd and fun, the best items were those that featured black as a contrast. Nods to the medical world came with colour zip ties worn as bracelets and hair ties. Luminosity and Perspex were in, which will potentially see more ‘see-through’ clutches replicated on the high street.
Less well-known but a personal highlight of mine, this show was a mix of pool slides and layers of asymmetric, neutral fabric in heavy ruffles. Leather jackets and denim halter necks contrasted with sheer nude dresses; one of the best looked as though it came from the romantic era and moved like a jellyfish. Makeup featured magenta and copper pigment below the eyes, skin was dewy and legs glossy. This aesthetic has moved to the high street, with Zara going for Marques’Almeida vibes in their new collection.
Jonathan Saunders SS16
This was the finale for Saunders, who announced the closure of the label last year; the resulting show was both poignant and beautiful. With Japanese influences, the models wore elegant combinations of diagonal stripes and diagonal chequers, in varying but not gaudy colours. Kimono style jackets and wide trousers moved in lightweight fabrics. Patterns were geometric but muted, with a recurring motif of a 60’s white belt.
Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, has said fashion is now seasonless; perhaps referencing the globalisation of style by the social media effect. This sentiment was matched by the Burberry catwalk, with coats over slip dresses, and low slung rucksacks being the prominent feature. Each look being reminiscent of a range of coffees, with black and caramel the dominant colours, some in geometric lace. The men wore tailored suits and slipper style shoes, the women caged heels, and many looks combined black with gold detailing, making for glamourous yumminess.
Projecting ahead another season, Topman has just released the catwalk for next winter’s fashion. Topman partners with initiative to support upcoming talent in menswear, a scheme called Newgen Men, which showcased some of the designs in the January show. The catwalk had a feel of somnambulism chic, with men wearing satin gowns and mashup headgear of Cossack hat and nightcap. An Edward Scissorhands aesthetic matched the sense of randomisation from a game of picture consequences, with each clothing item disproportionate to its neighbour. Double denim returned once again, but was made edgy with mismatching sleeve lengths, chains and rips. Little shearling aviator jackets and flared cornflour blue trousers paid a certain homage to both the 70’s and the Bee Gees. To understand the patterns of the show, a look at ‘Wetherspoon’s Carpet’ tumblr—a blog documenting the array of carpets in the pub—is startlingly similar and equally inspirational. The models had Alexa Chung cheekbones and Noel fielding hair, and looked pretty great.