There's been a lot of hype surrounding London the past few years. Some of it is deserved - such as the ability of the British capital to foster new-gen talent. London has been a hotbed of new designers in the past decade, and the British Fashion Council has created a system that funds and supports emerging talent well. Yet some of the hype should be questioned. London's habit of slapping the word 'creative' onto some collections that are downright wacky makes it lose credibility at times. LFW also often lacks the poeticism and depth of feeling of Paris and Milan. While the British stiff upper lip extends to the runway, emotion is something LFW could at least use a small dose of. For Autumn/Winter '18, that dose came through via these top 5 collections.
Steeped in 20s and 30s references, an aesthetic whose appeal shows no sign of waning, Erdem Moralioglu noted American vaudeville star Adele Astaire as the muse for his melancholy AW18 collection. When looking at the thin face veils some of the models wore, one can’t help but think of the ‘shadow self’ concept in psychology. The shadow is made up of whatever negative qualities about ourselves that we try and hide. In current times, where transparency is the order of the day, what we show and what we hide has increasing significance in the outcome of our lives, and Erdem AW18 boldly tapped into this tension.
Why Delpozo is as underrated as it is, is baffling. It could very well be due to the integrity of its creative director Josep Font, who isn't as keen on using Instamodels as some of his contemporaries. But we love him for it. And also for the exquisite clothes he shows each season. They're always perfectly considered in color combinations, proportions and dimensions - and AW18 - the house's first presentation in the British capital - was no exception. Thank you, Mr Font, for bringing a touch of romance to London.
If there is a combo that speaks better to millennial women than one of skirt-and-sneakers, I don't know it. This look was very much an elevated take on one's high-school self. Much of the collection featured these same considered streetwear references, which has helped make the label increasingly sought-after among 80s and 90s babies the world over.
4. MM6 MAISON MARGIELA
It's not often a presentation gets picked in the favorites over the shows. There's always that irrational, less-official feeling of not having seen that one-off moving parade. But MM6 Maison Margiela was so clear in its vision and message, it stood out. It was simply a mostly metallic collection in a mostly foiled room, albeit with enough options to easily fill anyone's seasonal wardrobe with aplomb.
There's something cringe about referring to fashion as 'fun'. Clothes, especially clothes at these price points, made by world-level design talent, are important. Too important to be fun. And yet, I gave in a little at the sight of Halpern. For AW18, the brand, helmed by American-in-London Michael Halpern, showed a collection that was undoubtedly fun. The I've-arrived miniskirts, the here-to-strut ankleboots, the diva jackets. It made me want to go out and have some.