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The first weekend of January 2019 kicked off Men’s London Fashion Week with a series of trends that continued to dominate the shows in Milan and Paris. Lakshmi Sreedhar gives us the low-down on these key trends and how they’re playing out on runways around the world.
London Fashion Week always has so much to offer, it can be hard to pick out the highlights. Here are a few moments that stood out however, most notably for their ability to start a conversation and use fashion as a platform for change. The use of plastic was one such theme and there were many other politicised moments this year. Here are the things you don’t want to miss…
With firm roots in Britain, Belstaff’s collection showcased several leather-inspired looks, keeping up with the Brexit political scene. In spite of the creative director, Sean Lehnhardt-Moore, being away from Britain for almost 15 years, he seems to have made a great comeback. As he told Elle, “that everyone aspires to be: an independent soul with an adventurous spirit and a love of travel inside and outside of the city.” This could be seen in his collection featuring jackets, coats, knitwear, detachable collars and double-faced khaki waterproof trench coats.
Let’s just say Charles Jeffrey Loverboy is a true lover of theatrics. For the Fall 2019 show called “ Darling Little Sillies” which took place on the banks of River Thames, the theme was a combination of Peter-Pan and a 1920’s cabaret. Chandeliers, actors, bathtubs, tartan suits, jewelled coats and sweaters were seen on the runway.
Craig Green’s show featured an array of plastic in different shades, with a toxic masculinity to accompany the outfits. Worth mentions include, Liam Hodges’ “Mutations in the 4thDimension” show which saw geometric elements and focused on dystopia, showcasing the unique tie-dyed pieces. Other collections like A-COLD-WALL by Samuel Ross and the tech-savvy extravaganza by Paria Farzaneh, stood out.
It’s not only in London, however, that fashion week seems to have hit a new high. Here’s my take on the memorable moments in Milan…
Moving onto Milan Fashion Week, Ermenegildo Zegna opened the men’s show at an incredible venue- Milan’s most popular train station, Milano Centrale. Alessandro Sartori, Zegna's artistic director included fabrics like cashmere, suede, nylon and wool. MSGM’s Massimo Giorgetti chose bold shades like red, orange and intermittently balanced it with mute colours like pink and white.
Unlike last year’s final London Fashion Week show, Billionare’s AW19 show was far from animal-free. With a collection featuring mink, crocodiles and silk accompanied by the picturesque setting of the Palazzo del Santo. Jumpsuits, trousers, pants and bathrobes- whilst using animal’s for aesthetics can never be condoned, the show itself was impressive! Let’s hope we see more in the future- without the animal cruelty.
Fendi’s show mirrored Lagerfeld with dual mixed half-and-half outfits like jackets and sportswear. The final show in the Milanese calendar was Sartorial Monk whose show featured Italian silhouettes and introduced a fine style of a jacket with a hood- joodie.
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On September 12th this year, the British Fashion Council announced a fur-free runway for the first time ever at this year’s LFW Spring 2019, thereby setting a new global standard. This doesn’t mean an outright fur ban, just that this year’s participating design houses chose not to use fur. Lakshmi Sreedhar unfolds this statement for us and keeps us ahead of the curve with what looks to look out for this spring.
So, what are the looks to bookmark now for your next season wardrobe? The past week featured debuts, reappearances and the revamp of one very famous label, all in the space of five fun-filled days.
Alexa Chung, for a change, was behind the scenes this year, instead of front row. Her “Arrivals and Departures” collection was every woman’s dream holiday closet, with midi-dresses, safari style outfits, comfy jumpsuits all in the shades of the 70’s vibe. The subtle, classic, simple prints spoke elegance in itself.
A 10-year anniversary celebration marked Victoria Beckham’s non-retrospective collection this year. After a decade of presenting at the New York Fashion Week, the talented designer decided to save the main milestone for the first time in London. The iconic midi-dresses, custom-made blazers, tailored jackets, spaghetti straps, scarlet dresses, back slips and the ever-present classic sharpness of any Beckham outfit did not go unnoticed. It was the skinny ankle-split trousers, however, worn by Beckham herself, that I think will be the biggest hit of SS19 VB collection. As usual, her husband, David Beckham and their four kids were present to cheer her during the show and later for the victory lap.
Riccardo Tisci, the new chief creative officer for Burberry was quoted saying at this year’s show, “This show is a celebration of the cultures, the traditions and the codes of this historic fashion house and of the eclecticism that makes up the beautifully diverse United Kingdom.” The show began with an agglomeration of pencil skirts, blouses and trench coats. As the music got faster, so did the skin-tight skirts, corsets and vinyl coats. But although most people were impressed by the opening of the Burberry show, they were left somewhat disappointed in the latter half.
Fashion designer, Julien Macdonald, sticking to his style showcased a collection featuring shades of black and silver, with pops of yellow and tangerine. Model Winnie Harlow walked in a silver swimsuit type style. As Vogue aptly put it, his show was more party-oriented wear than professional. His impressive workmanship did not fail, but ultimately the magazine gave a negative review due to the excess amounts of cringe-worthy, not-there dresses, with nude, flimsy illusions. They said that it would have been better had there been more subtlety in the collection.
Finally, the last collection worth mentioning was the one by Erdem. It check-marked the basic fashion necessities- fabrics, floral prints and plenty of glamorous gowns. Designer, Erdem Moralioglu said that his most significant inspiration was the works by Fanny and Stella, a pair of nineteenth-century cross-dressers who had an avant-garde approach way back then. Many of the outfits seemed to be a cross between two eras- the opulent Victorian period and the 21st-century fashion. I won’t be surprised to see Blake Lively wearing Erdem soon since she seems to be rocking several suits for her movie promotions and other Hollywood events this month! The mannish tailoring and sexy, floral prints are perfect for any red carpet event or even a business meeting.