For the F/W 2014 season, New York Fashion Week unfolded with its characteristic hard-driving cool and Milan Fashion Week with its well-heeled sophistication, but it was London Fashion Week that took the prize for exuberant, trend-setting eclecticism; pacesetting brilliance; and on-fire creativity. And for five vivacious days in this young-old city, designers were all about sharing their exuberance with the world. With fabulous purples, lustrous metallics, bold oranges, and intense cobalt blue featured in prints, leather, and furs, the show’s attendees had a lot to see—as well as to be seen in. Here we present some of the electrifying trends we noticed in the seventy-six shows at London Fashion Week.
Trend 1 – Purple: The Royal Color
In deep, regal hues and soft pastel, purple captured the runway, turning clothing into majestic works of art. In Barbara Casasola‘s collection, an intense fuchsia-purple saturated a simple long coat, a cropped turtleneck sweater, an innovatively detailed high-waisted skirt, and a basic pantsuit. The vibrant shade gave Casasola’s simple designs a lavish appearance.
Designers David Koma, Antonio Berardi, and Ashish Gupta also accentuated their designs with bold purples. Koma used a shimmering royal purple on a structured trench coat over a high-necked shirt and mini-skirt; open-toed high boots added a sexy appeal to the overall look. Precise tailoring and a deep plum color defined a cropped, cape-sleeved jacket from Berardi. And for his brand Ashish, Gupta offered a radiant, long-sleeved purple mini-dress shimmering with his trademark sequins.
On the opposite end of the purple spectrum, a delicate lavender shade softened a collection by Whistles with carefully draped trousers and a tie-front sleeveless tunic, a similarly styled jumpsuit, and an off-the-shoulder shirt and tea-length skirt with subtle sequins.
Ed Meadham and Ben Kirchhoff of brand Meadham Kirchoff flaunted the versatility of purple in a graceful printed dress and two jaunty tweed suits in a plaid that mixed pink and white with the royal color. One suit model wore cobalt gloves; the other, a skin-tight pair in a fabulous rainbow-hued metallic.
Trend 2 – Metallics: Cool and Hot
In keeping with the exuberant spirit of London Fashion Week, several designers gravitated toward metallics: the standout glow of gold and silver and the rainbow shine of holograms. House of Holland sent this striking trend down the runways in elegant silver separates such as a shimmering skirt and quilted crop top. Jonathan Saunders showed a festive tea-length dress in gold and silver patchwork, and Gupta offered more-casual athletic looks that easily rivaled USA Winter Olympics ensembles with their pizzazz.
Some ensembles featured a lighter metallic touch. Playful gold metallic leaves accented a white fur Erdem dress. Antipodium had several ensembles with hints of metal. Silver-grey pants that appeared both graceful and comfortable were paired with a subdued short-sleeved top in black. A striking copper belt cinched a subdued heather-grey sweater dress.
Gold also shone in a couple of playful jumpsuits from Daks that paired bearskin hats reminiscent of Buckingham Palace guards with other dramatic pieces, including long glimmering gloves and a furry capelet. A look from Richard Nicoll paired the regal appeal of gold with the comfort of a relaxed sheath dress. In contrast with the elaborate, in-your-face excitement of the DAKS looks, Nicoll achieved drama with quieter details: embossing his dress with large polka dots, tucking a molten scarf into its deep v-neck, and pairing it with metallic orangey-bronze brogues.
Hologram fabrics, which appear to change color with movement, were also prominent in ensembles from Fyodor Golan, Daks, and Julien MacDonald that shimmered down the runways.
Trend 3 – Orange: Anything but Clockwork
For an audacious and uplifting impression, several designers stunned the crowd by sending out all-orange garments that evoked different moods. Mark Fast conveyed a jaunty feel with a long orange turtleneck sweater-dress paired with an equally long scarf and thick-soled metallic sneakers. Preen’s combination of a long-sleeved peplum top with matching trousers showed that orange can hold its own in the professional world. That feeling of traditional sophistication also radiated from Antipodium’s long orange trench-like coat with fur-trimmed collar.
Joyous and bright orange skirts varied in style. The traditional feel of Jasper Conran’s semi-high-waisted pencil skirt contrasted with Osman’s version of the pencil, which featured an artsy dark printed hand holding a clutch. Emelio de la Morena matched a ruffle-sleeved sweater with a satin pink skirt under an intricately woven orange overlay.
Vivienne Westwood used orange fearlessly in a large plaid pattern, tempered just a little with soft gray, for a pair of trim cropped trousers, a handsome coat, and a contemporary suit.
A dramatic pumpkin-orange furry coat by Preen gave a sense of cocoon-like warmth; flowing orange slacks balanced its rounded shape. This collection also included a long, buttonless trench coat and a shimmering, long-sleeved dress in an orange-on-orange print shown, like Preen’s other looks, with citrine-yellow shoes.
Trend 4 – Cobalt Blue: Polished Intensity
The vibrancy continued with all the cobalt blue appearing on the London runways. Hunter Original presented the electric color in a hooded raincoat, a puffy winter coat, and a contemporary motorcycle jacket.
Richard Nicoll’s collection embraced the trend in bold, color-saturated pieces. For texture, he combined dyed fur and leather. Cobalt blue ruffles and insets on a sleeveless tunic contrasted sharply with a lighter shade of blue. Nicoll also used traces of the color as leather accents on a denim jacket and skirt.
To temper the intense hue, Sibling paired a lacy crocheted cobalt skirt with a close-fitting burgundy blouse, its collar crocheted in the same deep blue as the skirt. Osman used cobalt in a flared knee-length skirt and in a short-sleeved coat, its front accented with the same dark hand holding a white clutch that he showed on multiple pieces in his collection.
Eudin Choi showcased what this striking color can do for simple silhouettes (and a variety of skin tones). In a whimsical allusion to menswear, he layered a loose, knee-length cobalt dress under a dark, unfitted pin-striped coat and very narrow pin-striped slacks of the same material. In a wink to the sportswear world, Choi finished the pants with knitted elasticized cuffs. He also used cobalt in a pair of slim cropped pants paired with a cobalt-and-black patterned sweater and in a chic cocktail dress.
London Fashion Week offered something for any woman who wants to make a grand entrance into any room. From fearless bright colors to shiny metallic and hologram pieces, the collections exuberantly expressed the spirit of the city’s fashion industry and the woman who wants to stand out in the crowd – London style.
Editor in Chief: Semant Jain, Ph.D.
Article Editor: Elizabeth Nash
Fashion Writers Michelle O. Dente, Linda Zid