London Denim Runway Highlights

London was alive with colorful denim inspiration, from the playful high-color hippie embroideries at Meadham Kirchhoff to the statement jackets at Ashish and acid yellow wefts at Marquis Aleida. Here we explore our London Denim Runway Highlights:

Ed Meadham and Ben Kirchhoff went literally over the rainbow for F/W 12,  channeling the psychedelic 70s and injecting it with a truly Harajuku makeover. Styling was high-color, madcap and above all, fun fun fun. Multi-colored layering was key and bright 70s-cast denim jackets and gilets were styled both over and under an array of furs, intarsia knits and animal print separates. We’ve been highlighting the growing appeal of the denim patch in many reports and blog posts lately and this show confirmed the trend is well and truly continuing for Fall.


Helmed by Jonny Johansson, for F/W 2012 Acne used their progressive sportswear aesthetic to renew archival denim pieces such as the coverall and the shirtdress; jumbo elastic straps transformed the bib and brace dress and romper with a utilitarian modernity. Rigid blue-black indigos made up the majority of the denim offering with key pops of canary yellow and a stylized modern camo prints to break up the palette. The brand moved away from traditional Scandinavian skinny silhouettes and presented upsized pant fits and re-work boyfriend shirts with belts resembling post-surgical braces used to cinch in coats, sweaters, shirts and pants.

Marques Almeida

The Denim Team noted Marques Almeida when they first debuted at the Central Saint Martins show back in February of last year.  The denim world went nuts for the design duo’s use of upsized proportion mixed with an artful arrangement of layered, frayed and destroyed surfaces. For S/S 12 the label reached for the bottle of bleach and their now signature silhouettes were reworked in baby-pale indigos for a fresh summer alternative. Now the look returns for F/W and despite the beautifully decayed looks, a cleaner attitude is slowly creeping in. Minimalist button-down collared shirts nod to 90s utility and a distinct leisure attitude is achieved with grey marl pieces. However the key update for Winter is the use of a shocking yellow weft on solid black denim, creating a dramatic yet playful contrast and plenty of emphasis on the frayed and laddered finishes.


Entitled ‘Bollywouldn’t’, the Fall/Winter 12 collection was Ashish’s homage to “New Age, rainbows and Goa” and we were told that this season’s muse was on a spiritual journey – running the gamut of the grunge movement to the Ganges. A plethora of denim truckers sidled up to a free love theme which mixed Indian accents with psychedelic tie-dye prints and acid washes dipped in rainbow colors. Acid House smiley faces, yin-yang motifs and oversize Buddhas appeared on sequinned tops and trousers, while the models stomped down the runway in rainbow flatform boots.  The whole show was truly inspirational, a psychedelic, trippy, hippie journey to fashion Nirvana with one of London’s most beloved designers.

Fam Irvoll

Until last week we were unaware of the tongue-in-cheek take on fashion that is undoubtably a trademark of Norwegian born, London-based designer Fam Irvoll. Inspired by “Alice in Wonderland, cartoons, toys, food, cakes and candy,” all elements were blatantly apparent in her bright, quirky collection. Models stormed the runway wearing bold cartoon prints combined with 3-D animal fastenings, polka dot flashes and hints of dip-dye, while the palette of light pastel tones – most predominantly mint green, candy floss pink and baby blue – offered a refreshing break from the so often dark shades of the Fall shows.




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