14 hours ago | By Nigel Taylor
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Capital of cool, London always succeeds in shining a light on emerging designers. Having fewer heavyweight brands allow newcomers some elbow room to cement themselves firmly into the fashion calendar.
With the added benefits of social media lifting the curtain on a once industry-only event, virality and exposure is as easy for these younger designers as it is for the traditional fashion powerhouses.
Off-beat and rule bending, London always provides the perfect setting for some experimentation. This year, however, London’s S/S 19 season had more of a commercial sensibility. From Ricardo Tisci’s Burberry debut, to the LVMH and NEWGEN-endorsed Richard Malone, London’s catwalks generally felt less experimental than seasons past, with more emphasis placed on commercial viability.
Nonetheless, it was a week filled with directional trends and, quite frankly, some beautiful and wearable collections. We, the WGSN editors, check in after a few days of frenetic show-hopping with our personal highlights.
Catwalks Director, Lizzy Bowring: @bowringelizabeth
V.B. ticked all the right boxes for me this season. With her inspiration firmly rooted in the premise that women are empowered through their clothes, it simply makes sense, and is a mantra that we can all relate to. There was not one outfit that I would not covet, particularly the Stella Tenant opening number – a white suit with a camisole, slim pants and those shoes! It just exuded the epitome of style.
Associate Editor, Insight, Alice Gividen: @alicegividen
As designers continue to struggle to strike the balance between commercial pressures and their own design aesthetics, Toga continues to get it ‘just so’. The right combination of subversive and wearable, it was a collection that gave Toga-esque updates to staple pieces. The classic trench is updated with ruffles and even organza – jumpers appear in clashing prints and are distorted with cut-outs – and a strong utility feel tied the whole collection together.
A personal highlight were the rococco-print cycling shorts – an update to the trend we’ve been tracking closely (particularly satisfying, as they acted as my own fashion week staple this season)!
Catwalks Editor, Christa Kauffman: @Christa_K
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
Preen’s S/S 19 collection echoes the mood of our Nomadic Cool trend we’ve seen bubbling up this season. Designers Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton took their girls on a journey through historical decades, from romantic playful Victorian times to 80’s power shoulders rendered with a gypsy attitude. Tech-touch and sportswear elements blended with fair isle knit, micro-florals and bright coloured lace supported their recurring narrative in a very modern and refreshing way. The show notes stated that some of their proceeds are donated to Help Refugees this season, drawing attention to an international refugee crisis and its displaced people.
Associate Editor, Catwalks, Joanna Standley: @joannastandley
Relaxed tailoring, shades of sherbet and patchwork prints to name a few – JW Anderson encapsulated all of my favourite trends we’ve seen from S/S 19 so far. Never straying too far from his unique blurring of masculine and feminine aesthetics, each look – when broken down – prove ultra-commercial and wearable. A couple of pieces you’ll be seeing me in come spring is the deliciously pink dress with contrasting sleeve and waist tie, and the lemon co-ord with patchwork details. S/S 19 is definitely set to be a pastel moment for me, and I’m not complaining!
WGSN Insider Intern, Thais Klapisch: @thaisklapisch
In the wake of my first London Fashion Week, Ashish was the designer that particularly stood out. Perhaps it was the atmosphere – high-energy techno dancers lined the runway as the show took place, creating an almost rave-like vibe.
The 00’s trend has come to the forefront, recently, and I particularly liked the mix of a younger Y2K look offset with a sleek and more mature aesthetic. Ashish brought plenty of luminous brights to the catwalk, from lime green to a solar orange, all of which featured his classic sequin embellishment – adding a certain sparkle to such a glittering show.
Fashion month can be overwhelming. With so much coverage on social media it’s easy to feel inspired, but how can you decipher which trends to test vs. which to invest? Head here for all of WGSN’s catwalk offerings to help navigate you through the social media storm.
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