Wednesday, February 23, 2011

London Fall 2011 Fashion Week: Geometry, Colour and Prints

Hey cats, I've been ill and out of commission this week, but luckily, it left me a lot of time to sit around and watch fashion shows!! London fashion week is often one of the most highly anticipated events in the industry, in the past featuring designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. This season the three most outstanding of the week in my humble, yet meticulously well informed opinion, were those of Mary Katrantzou, Christopher Bailey for Burberry Prorsum and the delightfully unique Holly Fulton.

Mary Katrantzou is not the most well known designer in the world and her creations are far from average. Her Spring/Summer collection featured cocktail dresses made of interior design fabrics, depicting printed and embroidered images of interior scenes and imagery. If not terribly wearable, the clothes are in the very least quite unique.

This season’s line was not far out of that range of description. It was a beautiful show, featuring extremely bright, powerful, Asian culture inspired prints. There were coi fish dresses coloured with bright orange and bright aqua marine. There were also somewhat more muted flower prints in softer colours, but always with the high contrast.

The thing about designers such as these, are that even though they are perhaps not the best sold designers in the industry, they have contributed something very important to it. By contributing to the ever growing fashion dialogue is to perpetuate the existence of the industry itself. Why make a lamp shade shaped dress that no one will ever wear with a giant coi fish on it? Why not?

The Burberry Prorsum collection was shown in the same week that the designer, Christopher Bailey discovered that the company made 13th place on a list of the world's currently most innovative companies. One would expect with news like that that the collection would have been over the top, bold and, well, innovative. However, the Fall 2011 line was much more muted than that, and represented the classic style of the company, paired with Bailey’s use of colour and line movement. Basically, if you’re into coats, (which I soo am,) this is the collection for you.

Some of the key features of the collection are the military influences that are so very British, and the solid colour scheme of orange, black and some simple greens, blues and yellows.

Then came the plaids! This collection shows a bunch of coats using an over-sized, bold plaid that used to be reserved for your common lumberjack, but can now be seen walking down the runways of London. Burberry never disappoints and there is no doubt that this label has not even reached the peak of its greatness at this time.

One of the distinct things I’ve noticed about this season’s collections was the common use of very bold patterns and geometric shapes. Holly Fulton took this idea and ran with it coming up with some of the most spectacularly printed and designed gowns of the season.

I also totally loved the models taking off their shoes in the middle of the catwalk. I prefer unconventionality in my fashion shows, what can I say. This collection was androgynous, it was punk rock, and it was the tops of elegance. She knew it was both important to show pieces which pushed the envelope in order to get critical attention, but she is also evidently aware of the power of the simple black dress. This collection definitely has it all.

I’ll be writing more this week about the new Gucci collection and many other beautiful Italian labels as we drift over for Milan Fall 2011 Fashion Week.

Until then, do check out the above collections, they are quite fab.