London Fashion week may have left the beautiful Somerset House for the somewhat less than glamorous location of a car park but London’s finest design talent still managed to bring it when it came to offering a whole season of pretty for springtime. As always there were untold shows this year but as far as we’re concerned the following designers absolutely owned the week!
Geometric prints, clashing brights, ruffles and bell sleeves – whilst the ideas might sound conflicting, in the hands of Roksanda Ilincic they melded beautifully into a collection that was both forward thinking and modern and yet very wearable collection. Whilst the label has always excelled at dresses this season also displayed an affinity for separates, with bold skirts and trousers paired with the sort of simply cut blouses that form the basis for any working woman’s wardrobe. And for evening Ilincic provided her diehard fans with her own modernist take on romance, taking sixty metres of fabric to compose dresses from a mille-feuille of fraying squares, resulting in a finale of divine beauty.
There are few that understand the varied needs of ones wardrobe as well as Christopher Bailey. Yes, the collections currently being presented are for Spring/Summer but of course, outwear has just as much a part to pay during the warmer months as during winter. After all, it’s always cold somewhere, especially in England, even in the summer and it’s the embracing of this fact that leads Bailey to produce such covetable and wearable collections season after season. The trenches had an addition of lace that’s just perfect for spring and there were immaculate pea coats, some unadorned, some trimmed in gold. There were endless pretty dresses, some of a slightly grungy persuasion (hello nineties slip dress), finished with a nonchalant leather jacket or cape thrown on. Even party girls have to be practical right! And let’s not forget the accessories. The caged sandals worn gave a touch of tough glamour to the ensembles whilst the monogrammed backpacks carried by the models will no doubt become one of spring’s most sought-after accessories.
In the five short years since graduating from Central Saint Martin’s Rocha has achieved something that often takes designer decades – cementing a design signature that perfectly unifies the aesthetic of her brand season after season. This season had mesh bodices that held up frothy pink skirts, vintage prints dresses that were effortlessly light with volumes of fabric used to create a delicate fullness, be that in a bell sleeve or the fullness of a skirt. Beautiful, whimsical and a little bit subversive, Rocha has created such strong codes for the house that you can see a piece and think “that is so Simone Rocha” which is no easy feat for a young brand.