SPRING FORWARD: LONDON CALLING

Giles

As the fashion flock migrates from New York to London to Milan to Paris, it’s always fascinating to see which trends have legs. It’s also fascinating to see how each city imprints itself on the collections that show there. And in the past few years, London has become the place to be.

After years of languishing as an afterthought — indeed, with many editors, buyers and fashionistas just skipping it completely — London has emerged in the past several years as a hotbed of talent and innovation. Once a bastion of proper, perhaps even conservative, style built around heritage fabrics and bespoke tailoring, London had…well, lost its luster. Then suddenly, young upstarts such as J.W. Anderson, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Simone Rocha changed our perceptions of what British fashion could be. A riot of new print techniques, unexpected embellishments and unique takes on tradition reinvigorated not just the London fashion scene, but the global fashion scene.

Much like the swingin’ 60’s, fashion is under another British invasion.

Victoria Victoria Beckham
Holly Fulton
Duro
House of Holland

The Spring/Summer 2016 London collections carried forth this exuberance. Most notably, through the use of colorful prints — often bright, often mixed. There were both bold botanicals, at Antonio Berardi and Victoria Victoria Beckham, and diminutive florals. And graphic prints, — think bold stripes, oversized checks, neon colorblocking — gave a nod to the city’s sartorial heyday.

Daks
Christopher Kane
Anya Hyndmarch

As with the New York shows, there was a touch of the 90’s in many of the London collections…only this time think more Deee-Lite than Nirvana. Yes, the slipdress slithered down many a runway, including Burberry Prorsum and Jonathan Saunders, but there was a definite nod to the club kids of the era. For better or for worse.

Joseph
Osman
Christopher Raeburn
Christopher Kane

On the flipside (because in fashion, there always is one), many collections had a softer hand. The strong statement colors seen in New York faded to a palette of muted pastels; notably, New York’s marigold softened to butter yellow, and was nearly as ubiquitous. Lace, so prevalent across the pond, was again a favorite fabric, and the idea of transparency is gaining steam. And, perhaps emerging as the trend detail of the season, ruffles continued their reign at unexpected places like Erdem and Mary Katrantzou.

Mary Katrantzou
Marques Almeda
Duro

Britain is known for its music festivals, so perhaps it’s no surprise that the idea of Urban Boho emerged — rather quietly, but from enough places to keep an eye on it. From prairie dresses at A.L.C. to ponchos at Hunter to exquisite embroideries at Temperley, the festival game is strong for S/S16.

Jonathan Saunders
A.L.C.
Mother of Pearl
Daks
Orla Kiely

Oh, and by the way, the dress+pant combo we noticed in New York seems to have legs.

Mary Katrantzou
Christopher Raeburn
Belstaff
Daks

Sigh…so many collections, so little time. Next stop: Milan.

All images via Voguerunway.com.


Originally published at karileemiller.com on September 24, 2015.