There was a definite air of reverence around the Tate Modern’s Topshop Tanks space pre-Louise Gray’s A/W13 offering. The Scott designer drew her typical crowd of die-hard fans, many adorned in pieces from her recent high-street diffusion line. This season we were hoping for another slice of Gray’s signature madcap, feel-good vibes we enjoyed in last seasons Now What? collection. Hey Crazy said the invite, and the show did not disappoint. The styling was certainly left field, with accessories seemingly pulled from the shelves of the local Costcutter. Toilet roll cocktail rings, bag o' wine brooches, roasting tin belt buckles and plastic bag headwear created by master milliner Stephen Jones provided the usual wackiness we anticipated.
But underneath the kitsch accessories of Gray’s Poundland princesses lay a very neatly put together collection made up of wearable and functional items. Cosy knitted sweaters, sassy swing coats in jacquard silk and Upper East Side cropped jackets layered over tailored shirts pulled the collection together. Classic cigarette trousers and spaghetti strap mini dresses were updated with out-there print patterns and complimented by Robert Clergerie boots. The shapes were appealing, but what excited us were the mixture of graphic print, colour and texture. Foil and quilting sat seamlessly next to a kaleidoscope of colour and prints, creating a sense of futuristic fun. As always, Gray continues to walk the line between crazy and cool, erring on the right side of the latter.
A new year, a new wardrobe, and thanks to the S/S 13 Fashion Week shows last autumn we’ve had plenty of clues as to what to expect this spring. The S/S 2013 runways were packed with new menswear trends, all perfectly tuned to the warmer months ahead. A strong sporty aesthetic took hold (obvs the Olympic Games offered inspiration) and there’s plenty in the way of colour for those looking to brighten up their drab winter wardrobes. We’ve scoured the shows and lookbooks to bring you a roundup of the key trends from the catwalks, so you can start your spring shopping now.
The sporty aesthetic tends to make its presence felt on the menswear runways in one way or another each year, but this spring it was a particularly strong look. For the warmer months ahead, designers have looked Stateside for inspiration, channelling America’s rich sporting past. Fifties American sportswear informed the ready-to-wear collections at Acne and Alexander Wang, with loose cut baseball shirts and board shorts emerging as key pieces. The classic, laid back country club chino was out in force too. You can’t go wrong with this crisp, clean-cut alternative to jeans for spring, and this light stone pair from Fred Perry at JD Sports is a perfect fresh shade that’s easy to wear.
Brights and Whites
After the dark, rich tones of A/W 2012, things have freshened up for spring. Popping brights dazzled across the collections, with bold colour worn from top to toe. Sunny yellow emerged as the key colour of the season, backed up by cobalt and turquoise blues, as well as punchy oranges and pinks as secondary hues.
If all that colour’s a little to much for you, how about paring things right back to basics. Beautifully clean and crisp whites, always a favourite for womenswear come spring, has crossed over into menswear in a big way this year. The key to getting the new look white right is to team white-on-white pieces together for a monotone look, rather than using white accents. Givenchy, Mugler and Agnes B all showcased this strong new aesthetic.
Double Breasted is Back
It’s been a while since we last saw the double breasted blazer ruling the runways, but this spring tailoring has taken a surprise turn. It’s time to ditch the single breasted suits for the more vintage-inspired double breasted look as seen at Spencer Hart. But as always, there’s a twist. The new season’s blazers have been slightly deconstructed, in classic or longer lengths, and lightened up dramatically for a fresh new take on what can be an overpowering suit option. Look out for lighter and more feminine fabrics, like silks and organza, and a bold use of colour to keep the look fresh.
From ties to t-shirts, stripes were a strong trend on the men’s runways, creating a nautical feel again for menswear come spring. This time, the colours have been toned down, with natural hues of brown and tan taking over from the navy and white Breton stripes of last year. Dolce and Gabbana showcased this look to perfection, in their show that channelled a bygone Italian era.
(l-r, Acne, Fred Perry, Givenchy, Mugler, Agnes B, Spencer Hart, Dolce and Gabbana)
On paper Jean Pierre Braganza's heavily sci-fi influenced themes could be regarded, and perhaps dismissed as uber-geek. But the execution of this print laden slick and elegant collection are a far cry from comic con.
With a heavy use of monochrome, the shapes have an almost samouri influence, but with an unmistakeable modern twist. Braganza uses flashes of peach to add femininity, which works gorgeously with certain pieces.
The print is a dominating force in the collection, appearing on bleached denim to luxurious silk jaquard. The circular almost mathematical print has more of a striking presence on the silhouttes than the rich dragons, which at times seem a little thematically obvious.
It would be very easy to summarise the collection in terms of the print, but the lines of the silhoutte are almost more striking. The amazing use of asymettry, boxy shapes and synched waists explored a decadence that is both wearable and statement.
'Foundations' was the name of the Zoe Jordan show which kicked off our London fashion week. Structurally, the title works beautifully; the lines totally capture Jordan's description of 'boyish elements' with strong tailoring executed in draping fabrics, curving lines and boxy yet feminine shapes.
Jordan sights architectural influences for her fifth collection, which is evident not only in the more obvious monochrome prints, but also in her use of negative space, gravelly textures and church steeple style pointed cuts. These make for a sexiness that starts to move the collection away from Jordan's classic androgyny.
Less obvious is the use of crocodile embossed print and almost perlescent metallic fabrics. These are a borderline distraction from a strong theme and super wearable collection, but the strength of the cuts and the awareness of 'her woman' balance this out in Jordan's favour.
The rich deep reds of the luxurious overcoat that opened up the Felder Felder show made us feel like we were tucking into a gorgeous cherry desert. The feeling only continued, as the colours only got richer, and the fabrics got more decadent. Bursts of leathers and furs encased the silhoutte like a gooey sugary icing, leading into textural caramel hues against a bombastic soundtrack.
Most memorable was the use of latex, which solidified the textural intensity of the collection. Through skin tight cigarrette pants and slouchy cool trench coats the fabric was executed in a wearbable manner; giving dollops of attitude without looking too crazy.
Into the deep black looks and we were hooked, the use of sheer, and thick velvets layered with diaphanous fabrics giving a sultry element to the collection. The use of Olive green really brought the colour palletes and textural nature together, neautral colours running through to give a look of feminine fun. The navy looks didn't pack as much of a punch as some of the other colour palettes, but still provided some elegant dress looks.
Finishing off the texture explosion were two crazyilly puffy fur coats. A very fun finish, but our minds were still firmly fixed on the latex.
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