As the Big Apple passed the fashion week baton to London, fall’s trends crystallized with a sequence of sartorial surprises. Judging by the experimental palette of vintage leopard prints, offbeat faux fur coats, and renegade slogan hoodies as seen on the London street style circuit, the migrating forces of fashion week are celebrating the laissez faire attitude of the UK capital in revolt against the gray news headlines. In uncertain times, the designer collections act as a creative barometer for the collective mood, and what we are witnessed was akin to next-level boldness.
Vogue Arabia reports on the essential take-homes from the Fall 2017 shows, which are on-point for wardrobes across the region: be it Downtown Dubai, Beirut or Cairo.
Sequins for Daylight Hours, Please
Emilia Wickstead’s Fall 2017 collection brought the house down with riotous applause, and no wonder, as the British designer unveiled a thoughtful collection that was a nostalgic reverie to the ‘70s, dotted with nowness. From the so-cool black velvet cross-over slide shoes worn with pillar box red enamel to the single trailing ribbon set in the models’ semi-crimped hair, Wickstead’s wintry runway was a melting pot of detail and bold sartorial strides.
Cut-out panels emphasized the tailored bust accents on stiff fabrics that made way for runway looks in super smooth velvet. Intricate beading in dots of teal, gold, and olive green were playfully smattered across webs of gunmetal lace. And then came the flurry of sequin looks, including a lush, metallic fishtail skirt and a molten dress that could be dialled down with a T-shirt for daytime.
Over at Ports 1961, sequins and seemingly dismantled woollen key pieces signalled the brand’s “homecoming” to the London scene. The message was clear: wear all that glitters, and wear it around the clock. Just let confidence be your accompanying accessory.
More is More at J.W.Anderson
J.W.Anderson’s Fall 2017 offering kept fashion editors chasing for one single thread of direction, but alas, Anderson’s creative moodboard overrunneth with ideas. Fabric contrasts (such as intricate brocade against smooth leather) and peek-a-boo cut-outs were key to Anderson’s winter message: the rules are that there are no rules here, and the J.W. woman is in the driving seat.
“It’s this idea throughout the show of a style odyssey where you show different parts of a woman to make her sensuous,” Anderson told Vogue’s Suzy Menkes backstage.
Angry Florals at Simone Rocha
Over at Simone Rocha Fall 2017, the British designer placed keywords on the seats for her guests to discover: camouflage, armor, protection, feminine, famine, to name but a few, which the designer seamlessly applied with expertise to clothing form. Winter’s Rocha woman will not melt into the background in these threads. The model lineup was diverse; women of all generations marched on the carpeted runway with purpose.
Fur coats and appliqued carbon black dresses were armed with utilitarian leather accessories in a deft contrast of soft femininity and tough, urbane reflections. “It was my interpretation of armor as a kind of camouflage and how it can be done through foliage,” Rocha told Menkes as the FROW filed out. “I’ve embedded all these nuances into the fabrication, like the organza with embroidered flowers.”
Keep it Street
The Versus Versace show was on-point for the premium streetwear movement, but with extra in-built sass. As one Hadid sister opened the show (Gigi took to the light-installation matrix set with color block eyeliner and a determined, unblinking stare) and the other closed it (Bella stormed the finale in a thigh-grazing number), Donatella Versace’s intentions were clear: take the millennial man and woman, offer them versatile threads, and keep that vital Italian ingredient ever-present––we’re talking “sass appeal.” It worked.
Puffa coats, logo’d fabric chokers, back-combed hair swept into high tumbling ponytails, and stomping ankle boots in exaggerated silhouettes kept the Versace diffusion line at the zeitgeist of the luxe street movement. See the show via our runway stream here.
Fashion and Politics are Inextricably Linked
Faustine Steinmetz burst onto the LFW lineup with a new range of denim, hand-woven in Burkina Faso, and explored next-level broken denim with aplomb––ideal for the subversive dresser. Two days into the London Fall 2017 collections, the mood is decidedly one of creative rebellion against the turbulence of the global political landscape. Cue utilitarian silhouettes (as seen at Versus and Simone Rocha), rule-breaking form (we saw cut-away underarms at Ports 1961 and unexpected striped sweaters teamed with unapologetic, colored tights at Molly Goddard), and a riot of creativity across the board.
From the complex crucible of ideas that exploded onto the runway at J.W.Anderson to the blood red primrose patterns at Simone Rocha, London was alight with new clothing concepts primed for instant wearability by the global citizen.
The take-home for the Middle Eastern woman for fall is to keep statement sequin pieces, distressed denim, high fashion streetwear, and fur pieces front and center of one’s jetsetting capsule wardrobe.