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London Fashion Week SS17

LFW always feels more irreverent than any other fashion week; we have that strange mix of history with a thirst for the eccentric and new ways of looking at our heritage. From internationally renowned design houses to emerging labels there were some beautiful and exciting collections on show this season.

One of my favourites came from Roksanda (below) who has established herself as the designer who knows how women want to dress, creating garments that feel special and sexy but in the most understated way. This show was all sensual silks in copper tones and abstract bright prints on easy, loose fitting garments. There was a very 1930s feel to the pieces but with a dose of modern sport luxe, which offers the wearer that blend of practicality with sophistication. The only thing I wasn’t sure about was the patches of feathers that adorned garments toward the end of the show, which seemed distracting (and to have a touch of The Muppets about them) which I am not sure was the intention… However that playful flourish didn’t detract from the overall feel of a very grown up and refined approach to contemporary style.


Paul Smith (below) looked to nature as his muse, using a floral print which was an interpretation of an image from one of his own photographs – a classic Paul touch to use his own creativity within the garments themselves. As with Roksanda, the collection was filled with very wearable, relaxed tailoring – soft separates were paired with printed floral dresses in simple silhouettes. SS17 is set to be sporty with a luxe twist, reflecting what the customer needs from her day to day wardrobe. I love this consideration of a modern woman who wants to be stylish but with clothes that work for her lifestyle; there is beauty in that practicality.


Burberry (top image) showed their classically British style with a collection filled with historical references. As with so many shows at Couture Week in Paris earlier this year (Valentino, Giambattista Valli, Giles Deacon…) there was an almost Shakespearean mood to the show, with mutton sleeves on jackets and high collars with mini ruffs. This was paired with sumptuous fabrics (like the devore print mosaic dresses we’ve already seen on the A List at red carpet events), floral prints, military details and of course the classic Burberry coats. Other London labels also stuck to their strengths: Erdem for example focused on beautiful embellished fabrics on ultra feminine and vintage-inspired dresses. Christopher Kane showed a collection with a make-do and mend theme to mark his 10th anniversary as a design house with the quirky style we have come to expect from his label; this included embellished ‘Crocs’ as footwear but I am not sure that is a trend I can abide embracing just yet… Temperley London (below) was a riot of colour through a disco lens. Her trademark love of sequins, embellishment and print were given free rein for the Spring season in a rainbow palette, with a few nods to the classic staples in her archive of monochrome and leopard print.


Emilia Wickstead (below) showed a collection much lighter and softer than previous seasons. She opened with a flurry of delicate dresses in the most muted of pastels which were especially pretty in their simplicity. Neat gingham separates that had a hint of 1950s charm were shown alongside floral full skirts worn with simple white tees. As with NYFW, crop tops worn with maxi skirts is a trend to look out for in SS17, shown here with a grown up feel among a selection of chic silk jumpsuits. As with the Simon Rochas show, ultra feminine floral, floaty peasant dresses were a big feature, but this was contrasted with modern bright and simple shift dresses inspired by sculptor Alexander Calder. Perhaps my favourite pieces of the show were the most typically ‘Wickstead’ in brand with voluminous polka dot evening gowns, proving the designer can be a crowd-pleaser as well as an innovator.


My stand out collections from the week are those who took the new ideas of silhouette, colour and fabric for SS17 but made them accessible with the modern woman in mind. The best clothes are ones that feel fresh and desirable yet ultimately wearable. Next year think of casual luxury as the calling card for your wardrobe staples; loose silk shift dresses in fabulous print and feminine tailored separates with an edge are on my shopping list already…