This season, London Fashion Week was a joyful celebration of diversity, craftsmanship and the Queen. As the sartorial dust settles, we pick seven of our favourite moments.
Christopher Bailey’s swansong performance encapsulated all of the elements of a Burberry show that we have come to know and love: an immersive show space; creative collaboration; British heritage and craftsmanship; diversity and an all-star cast.
Burberry partnered with United Visual Artists (UVA), presenting the new collection against a multisensory installation. The runway brought together Burberry ‘family’ old and new, from Edie Campbell and Cara Delevingne to Adwoa Aboah and Misha Hart. It was in part a celebration of Bailey’s greatest hits – the contemporary trench coat, the cape and the poncho, alongside innovative new designs. Most notable was the Rainbow Check, a colourful iteration that honours LGBTQ+ communities and is a radiant symbol of diversity and positivity. Cara Delevingne dramatically closed the show in a rainbow-striped, check-lined cape amid a dazzling laser display.
At the British Fashion Awards in December, Michael Halpern won the British Emerging Talent award for womenswear, while Adwoa Aboah picked up Model of the Year dressed in a resplendent Halpern mini dress. This week’s hotly anticipated show was a joyful explosion of party-starting sequin dresses and jumpsuits, set to an Eighties disco soundtrack. It welcomed new shapes including tuxedo-style dresses and sweeping palazzo pants in a clashing cocktail of colour, grounded by Christian Louboutin heels.
Mulberry transformed the historic Spencer House in St James’s into an immersive show space, swathed in ultraviolet hues (Pantone’s colour of the year). Johny Coca’s collection was flourished with quintessential British quirks, from Ascot-ready statement headpieces and manor house porcelain-inspired prints to seaside stripes, in an exuberant palette of electric lime green, canary yellow and French Fancy pink. The energetic show was accompanied by a performance by Goldfrapp and a beguiling cinematic projection by Sharna Osborne.
For the first time, Mulberry has employed a see-now-buy-now model, allowing the entire collection to be purchased immediately after the show.
Each season, Simone Rocha distils female sensibility with her uniquely subverted, home-crafted style, tenderly infused with both romance and rebellion. For the Autumn/Winter 2018 show, she presented softly rounded silhouettes and generous layering, crafted in white lace and netting. Elsewhere, models wafted down the runway in ethereal Victoriana coats and glossy laminated tweed tailoring, while Rocha's girl gang, including Daisy Lowe and Alexa Chung, watched on adoringly.
None other than Her Majesty The Queen turned out to sit front row with Anna Wintour at Richard Quinn’s fashion show, a moment that set the internet alight. Quinn was awarded the Elizabeth II Award for British Design this week for his cavalcade of clashing, exuberant prints and sculptural designs, buoyantly blurring the lines of fashion and performance art.
Erdem’s glitzy embellishment and floral patterns were a blossoming highlight of London Fashion Week. The collection takes its cue from showgirl Adele Astaire, the elder sister of Fred, who went onto marry the Duke of Devonshire.
Held at the National Portrait Gallery, the show beautifully married British aristocracy with the bejeweled opulence of the American Jazz Age. Slinky, curve-hugging silhouettes, wafting feathers and polka-dot tulle contrasted against heavy tweeds and knitwear for a sumptuous performance.
Aspinal of London
A phalanx of stars turned out to fête the Aspinal of London Autumn/Winter 2018 presentation, held at the luxury brand’s grand boutique in St James’s. The collection takes its cue from the majestic and enduring lion motif, synonymous with British history, be it the four undulating lion sculptures that guard Trafalgar Square, or the brass door knocker that hangs from 10 Downing Street.