The Wylde Edit: London Fashion Week SS17
Words by Luke Singleton
Erdem’s clothes are characteristically romantic, and this season, the chronicled doomed affair between Charles I and the Countess of Roxburghe was the context. The historical references that ensued seemed familiar. Ethereal delicate floral silks, ruching, ruffled trims and a long, svelte silhouette appeals directly to the brand’s loyal fanbase. So far, so Erdem. The asymmetry and sheerness of some dresses however, the décolletage-baring ribbon-tied jackets, floor-length dresses almost suspended mid air, exposing bare shoulders - this was Moralioglu staking his claim in a wider conversation of modern aesthetics; there was suddenly more flexibility here, appealing to a bolder, more adventurous spirit, which women seem to be connecting with right now.
The outward conspicuousness of Christopher Kane’s clothes is tenderized by a palpable vulnerability, and a deep sense of nostalgia. This collection’s Make Do and Mend mood encapsulates his own heritage, his label celebrating 10 years in the business. This show exemplified what has now become a familiar congruous blend of motifs. The Kane woman can be demure but she is also transgressive. There may be sexuality, but it is usually fused with some pagan or religious culpability. Kane’s woman-ideal therefore can be hard to define; she is emotionally intelligent, but she is also subversive. What is clear is that Kane’s perspective is always one of sympathy towards the woman’s story. A Polaroid-print coat imbued with memories reflected this nicely. An enthralling three quarter length coat made entirely of silk-appliqué daisies appealed with wistful poignancy. Metallic lame, lace and organza ruffling added romance to sheer body-con dresses.
A discourse in English identity tempered Mulberry’s show, where the heritage brand reeled off a checklist of staples with characteristically British flair. Shift dresses and pinafores, possessing an almost canonical quality, took on geometric proportions with sculptural ruffles and ruched hems. Striped T-shirts, shirting details on dresses, and pinstriped slacks, cropped at the calf, echoed a tomboy spirit that felt intrinsically familiar. There was uniformity to the looks, intimated through a utilitarian palette of olive greens and navy’s, and the presentation of a slouchier, androgynous silhouette. When colour was presented later in the show, there was continuity in dresses maintaining voluminous proportions. Textiles came in quintessentially British motifs, such as windowpane checks and public school stripes. An off-white patent leather raincoat was a fresh approach to a rather exhausted, but very necessary, wardrobe essential.
The low-pressure elegance of Roksanda Ilincic’s aesthetic never lacks in sensuality. Her trademark languorous silhouette exuded femininity with discerning subtlety. Waists were gently cinched, dresses softly bias-cut, and trousers hemmed just above floor length to show a little shoe, perhaps a little ankle. Bandeau straps on dresses, striped motifs on fabrics, and skin-skimming ribbed sweaters in metallic Lurex-wool energized a familiar brazen 70’s insouciance here. A democratic take on the evening suit felt assured and current. The un-fussed simplicity of blazers without buttons, in purist dusky hues, complimented the slouchier trouser silhouette, with a clear nod to the trend for up-market tracksuits. Agility was further conveyed through pleating fabrics, enlivening subdued silk dresses in twilight tones, and the sinuous curves of billowing sleeves, at times cropped just above the wrist.
Simone Rocha’s show took place in Southwark Cathedral- London’s oldest Gothic church- a perfect setting for a righteous sermon on contemporary glamour; a collection befitting the fashion Gods. A series of sheer dresses in dazzling flower motifs showcased a new contorted silhouette, which felt fresh and epitomized a newer, restrained femininity. Fabrics were knotted pulling the silhouette across the body, mimicked in pouched drawstring leather bags. Asymmetry, a reoccurring trend for next season, featured throughout, with particular focus on hems and shoulders. Trenched and double-breasted coats were worn with one shoulder shrugged off. A Prince of Wales checkered two-piece, with an oversized Peter Pan collar blouse worn underneath, demonstrated this nonchalant elegance beautifully. Elsewhere, texture medleys attributed a sentimental touch. A timeless multi-print silk patchwork dress was evocative of a treasuredl hand me down, accessorized with patent leather Wellington boots, cutting a modern dash.