As a contrast to their AW13 show, which saw lots of powder pink hues, Topshop Unique’s most recent show had a more tomboy edge. Opening the show came all blue looks, with smart woolen coats casually hanging off the shoulders of models for a disheveled, tomboy charm, which was only highlighted by the occasional appearance of sports inspired puffa jackets. Whilst a feminine element could be seen through the light, soft materials, pastel pink was no more in this new collection, but instead a new pastel colour emerged in the form of lemon yellow. This pretty, bright shade added a youthful, playful edge to the collection, with silky blouses and fluffy yellow furs, but when mixed with tan and darker shades of yellow the look made for a classic, but playful, approach to dressing. And, of course the show didn’t come without major trends that have been spotted throughout fashion week, including knee high boots (in grey and burgundy) as well as patchwork fur, that was seen in sweaters, coats and vests. I loved the femininity in their AW13 show, but this collection has been really clever in showcasing what their youthful, edgy customer wants- a chance to dress in a subtle, but sexy way, without losing their tomboy charm.
It seems a mix of traditional and modern prints was the inspiration behind Preen’s most recent show in London this week. We saw Moroccan tiles digitally printed onto coats, dresses and skirts in either bright orange hues or in charcoal grey, but the modern twist came in the form of Darth Vader being printed on top of these traditional Moroccan tiles. Despite how odd this sounds, it actually seems to make sense- we’ve seen sweatshirts with all kinds of motifs and logos, and Preen have obviously taken this concept a step further by printing a sci-fi inspired logo on light, airy materials.
As if Darth Vader didn’t give enough of an edge already, there was a mix of both feminine and masculine elements. Inspired by Annie Hall, there were tailored suits and faint pinstripes, giving an androgynous feel to the collection, but this was softened by the feminine shapes of the skirts, dresses and blouses. Despite the use of black and white in the more tailored parts of the collection, the star of the show has to be the use of fiery hues in creating bold cashmere coats, fluffy oversized sweatshirts, a gorgeous velvet dress and, of course, the Moroccan tile print. The great part about this whole collection is that it is so wearable- we could buy a lot of it now and wear it now- especially those fur trimmed, shiny khaki parka coats and black knee high boots (a huge trend across fashion week so far).
At his most recent show Ralph Lauren lived up to expectations with a beautiful, soft and ultra feminine collection that showcased pretty, romantic hues of creams, greys, pinks and lilacs. We’ve seen a lot of masculine silhouettes during NYFW, but not at Ralph Lauren, where shapes were kept simple, soft and classic for all occasions. For evening wear the collection gave a lovely sense of old Hollywood glamour (think soft furs mixed with silk and heavily embellished dresses) whilst the more casual side of the show gave us cosy knits, slouchy silk trousers and soft capes (most of which styled head to toe in one soft hue). It is also interesting the contrasting footwear that was on the runway-we saw converse style sneakers, pointed court shoes and thigh high grey suede boots, all showing how much versatility the brand still has whilst still remaining classic and feminine!
Inspired by the illustrated pop up books of Benjamin Lacombe, the designers at Alice + Olivia created a collection that represented ‘elegance, fragility and melancholy’ that was appropriately presented against a gothic fairytale backdrop. Speaking of the collection the designer (Bendet) said that it had ‘dark, sexy ties’ to the Victorian era, and this was clear to see across the whole collection, if not with a modern twist.
Through rich textures and Victorian-esque prints, the collection represents a feminine, but powerful, woman. The collection puts a sexual spin on traditional Victorian dress-knee high leather boots, sheer lace, luxurious looking black embellished mini dresses and leather corsets- whilst the baroque prints keep to the Victorian inspiration from which the collection stems from. The most dramatic piece comes in the form of a gorgeous, floor length red baroque print coat, that again becomes luxuriously modern when mixed with blue denim.
This collection holds one of my favourite inspirations- who doesn’t love a dark, gothic fairytale? The red lips, black choker detail, the opulent Victorian prints and enchanting backdrop wins me over every time!
The designers at Proenza Schouler emphasised the importance of both fun and humour behind their collections before their show in New York, and this definitely shone through in their bold clashing prints. In previous seasons the designers had moved away from the prints they had become known for, but for their AW collection it was good to see their vibrant, fun side make an appearance-sometimes it works for designers to stick to what they do best.
With a strong safari theme throughout, the collection saw a whole host of clashing animal prints in both monochrome and bright, bold hues of mainly blues, greens and blood red, with hints of pink and orange also making a rare appearance. It was not just colours and prints that were mixed together though, as the collection saw a brilliant clash of textures too, the most impressive being a boxy patchwork dress that mixed both black leather with blood red suede. It was such boxy, oversized shapes-seen in the rounded shoulders of jackets and tops- that gave the collection a masculine edge (as well as those chunky two toned loafers), which was softened by combining these more masculine elements with more fitted skirts and dresses, as well as the use of soft roll neck sweaters and the cinching in of oversized shapes at the waist.
The collection was obviously all about the layering of thick, chunky textures (those spongey jacquard jackets), vibrant colours and contrasting patterns, which is a great way to look at dressing for the colder months! It shouldn’t be about dull colours, but feeling warm and cosy in rich, opulent textures and prints (think a boxy dress over the top of a fitted long sleeve). And definitely don’t forget to layer up on your accessories either-this collection put lots of chunky rings on each hand, even matching them to an equally beautiful clutch bag!