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While the BAFTA’s went #TimesUp black for their red carpet, London Fashion Week carried on in color. The fashion crowd seemed unfazed by the awards ceremony held Sunday night, even though feminism was at the forefront of nearly every collection.
“Fight on” seemed to be the message from Alice Temperley, who sent her WW II-inspired collection out on models in satin boxing boots by shoemaker Pedro Garcia.
From the first look of an aviator jumpsuit in military green to sequined dresses topped with military jackets, the designer threaded beading and celestial motifs throughout.
Backstage Temperley said she was inspired by the pilots of the 1930s and ‘40s. “I wanted it to be pilot-like but super glamorous and also very comfortable, with a bit of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers mixed in,” she said, calling the collection “utilitarian but also super luxe.”
She also encouraged women to “be positive and optimistic” in this political climate. “People complain so much about everything, [but] it’s about putting something on that makes you feel amazing and makes everyone else around you feel good.”
As far as the red carpet dressing, Temperley, who is a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, downplayed her role. “It’s a monopoly because it’s dominated by brands paying lots of money, but we’re supported by a lot of people,” she said.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
It was back to school for Preen, whose designers handed out a reading list of sorts instead of show notes, with a list of books that inspired the collection. Korea’s female Haenyo deep-sea divers (or “real-life mermaids,” as they are known) were a major influence here from the first looks of hooded coats in neoprene resembling wetsuits in deep blues and greens. The theme also translated into fluid dresses, and fishnets took on new meaning, mixed and matched and dotted with delicate sequins as if they were floating in the sea. Fuzzy bags and shoes resembled sea anemones, with mermaid hair and glitter makeup.
Among the other tomes were Why Women Will Save the Planet by Friends of the Earth, The Changing Nature of Eco-Feminism by Niamh Moore and Goth Girl by Chris Riddell. So they sent out an emo earth mama in a bright chrysanthemum coat. Other florals were more delicate or in heavy brocade with cheongsam collars — never mind that those are a traditionally Chinese design.
Still it was beautiful, backed by the sounds of birds chirping, and by looking to this matriarchal society, the husband-and-wife team of Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton’s message was clear: there’s a lot of work to be done.
Both Cate Blanchett and Kate Middleton have worn the line, but it’s probably a safe bet that this collection based on adventurous women is too daring for the conservative Queen-to-be.
As more brands decamp from New York to Europe, Josep Font’s Delpozo showed its first London Fashion Week collection at the city’s Royal Institute of British Architects. It was a fitting location for Font, who started his career as an architect and continues to add sculptural details to his dresses.
The collection was full of Font’s signature use of contrasting color, with Pepto pinks, sea and sky blues and bright oranges. Not for the faint of heart, there was certainly no #TimesUp black here.
A camel and acid yellow houndstooth print marked capes, while two-tone dresses were accented with large flower belts.
The fuller, short trouser was once again in play here, this time in white, pink and camel. Sparkly striped socks were a fun touch with low-heeled (dare we say, sensible) shoes.
The sequined floral, full-length gowns felt like the artsy older sister to yesterday’s Halpern party girl collection. It’s that unusual combination of intellect and whimsy that has made him a surprising staple on the red carpet, with Rihanna, Kerry Washington and Rose Byrne all wearing the brand.
He’s even become a go-to for Kiernan Shipka and Melania Trump. That’s an impressive spread.
There was plenty to choose from here, and stylist Law Roach sat front row, possibly selecting outfits for clients Celine Dion and Zendaya.
The Mary Katrantzou show was targeted by anti-fur protesters, making for a chaotic entrance and exit to the Granary square show. One protestor even stormed the runway shouting ‘Shame on you,’ sending security scrambling before she was taken away. The models continued on, modeling the designer’s Bauhaus-inspired collection.
The print queen moved into geometric patterns that appeared on coordinated skirts and jackets, while graphic first looks gave way to tightly cinched waists and exaggerated shoulders with delicate wallpaper motifs. There was plenty of brocade and beading, fringed hemlines and structural lampshade dresses. Two diaphanous beaded dresses were inspired by curtains, she said in show notes, but they were light and airy.
Though Katrantzou has worked with fur in the past, the publicist was quick to issue a release after the show emphasizing the coats were faux and not real.
Since protestors had the exit blocked, guests were forced to walk through the back exit, which proved to be a bonus for many guests who took the opportunity to giddily run backstage and attempt to Instagram every detail.
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