London Fashion Week AW14: The Best Of The British

February 24, 2014 • Designers, Fashion Blog, Fashion Shows

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What could be better than hitting Fashion Week in New York? Well, making the next stop across the pond in the land of the Beckhams, Tom Ford and Somerset House: London! I had the chance to check out some of the standouts of what will be making this Fashion Week one to remember:

Who would have guessed that Star Wars would be a big favorite this season? First, we had Rodarte show us the good of Yoda and R2D2 in New York. Preen of Thornton Bregazzi was the sci-fi hit of the London scene. And to throw in some Annie Hall to soften the collection for good measure, designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi knew just how to combine the two for a cool and eye-catching mix.

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Thea and Justin hanging out with some Storm Troopers before the show

There is actually a method to the madness. Star Wars was the first movie that Thornton and Bregazzi saw together, and adding in that many of the silhouettes were housed from the couple’s archives capsule collection project set for release Spring 2015, the Seventies tailoring and combination of masculine/feminine makes perfect sense.

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Watching the show right behind the designers and listening to a bass-heavy version of the Imperial March was the perfect combination. With the models lined up, ready to make their exit onto the runway, the designers fluffed and straightened each individual model, smiling while they did so. The Darth Vader motif mixed with bright red-orange electrical tape accents, luxurious fur hoods and muted forest green was the perfect backdrop. It added a modern touch to something that could have easily strayed into the campy side of clothing. Though some of the sole lace pieces were a bit too dated, I thought the collection as a whole was huge hit.

Tom Ford and his squad  Credit: thegrio.com

Tom Ford and his squad
Credit: thegrio.com

Tom Ford always leaves people speechless. Whether or not it’s a good speechless always remains to be seen. Even though the designer was born in Texas, Ford shows his collections in London. This season, Ford focused on blurring the line between overtly sexy and a little bit trashy. Nestled amid the red crocodile leather, knee-high boots and furry little skirts, there was a lot to take in visually watching the show.

Personally, I have always felt that Ford straddles the line of vulgarity very loosely. This season, I am in the unfavorable camp that he possibly went too far. Using the Jay-Z lyric “I don’t pop ‘Molly’, I rock Tom Ford”, the designer used logo dresses as a twist on cheerleader uniforms. Though the line is to be taken as tongue-in-cheek, the dresses seemed to be out of place in the Fall lineup of sleek silhouettes, almost skewing too young for the crowd at hand. But nevertheless on my opinion, I’m sure we’ll be seeing the look on Beyonce, Miley or Rihanna in the very near future.

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Another designer I had the pleasure watching was Huishan Zhang. By way of China, the designer is a graduate of Central Saint Martins in London. Not to mention he has worked at Dior, he is well on his way to becoming a household name. Balancing the line between ladylike and modern, this presentation was a nice surprise to see in the Dorchester Hotel.

The designer used his Chinese heritage for the inspiration of the Autumn/Winter 2014. “I’ve been exploring many different artists’ interpretations from traditional to modern, from Zhang Daqian to Roy Lichtenstein,” Zhang explained. And I found the real Chinese landscapes are so unique, beautiful and very unknown outside China… This led me to a textural, adventurous mood for the collection.”  This influence can been seen especially in the show-stopping Swarovski crystal minidress. With the bold pieces, there were also the understand yet simple elegant: trapeze wool coats, lace insets with cozy cable knit poncho-inspired  sweaters. Pieces that while can be worn for a night out, also pieces that have their place in everyday, casual attire.

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Looking at how London compares to New York, these are two different beasts which I think both strive in. New York focuses on contemporary designers that shape the modern, sophisticated woman. London focuses on a little bit of the fun, frisky side… the way fashion starts off. The idea of making a standout piece so bold and daring that no one dare compare. If you want colors as bright as your nearest crayon box, this is what you look for. When things get too restricted, it’s just another way to show the creativity and get out of the box. The Mary Katrantzou, the re-invention of Burberry, L’Wren Scott and Peter Pilotto… these are the designers that make fashion fun again.

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The AW14 collection of Markus Lupfer

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How cool are these shoes from Tata Naka?

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Tata Naka was also bringing a plethora many bright prints

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The cool mood board at Barbara Casasola

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MAC beauty at Barbara Casasola

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Backstage at Barbara Casasola

-Taneisha Jordan

Photos: Second City Style; Tom Ford Photo, thegrio.com

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