Still acceptable: the 80s
The 70s continue to influence style, but this season the 80s have swept with more va-va-voom than a Madonna song, and we’re excited to see those power shoulders back. Indeed it seemed fitting that with another Conservative female prime minister in power and a resurgence of Princess Diana hype, the fashion world is reminiscing accordingly. At Marques’Almeida broad-shouldered, red and black striped suit jackets presented a playful version of an MA working girl, as did black and white panelled suits, worn on their own with yellow, razor-sharp pointed boots. At Mulberry, suits were rendered in checks and tweeds, often adorned with lace, to offer a more British and mature version of the decade. Mary Katrantzou also embraced the period, with puffed shoulders and oversized furs offering a modern twist on the established silhouette.
Dare to: bare shoulders
And if the shoulder wasn’t being emphasised, it was being exposed. Clavicles and their kin are certainly back, with designers lining up to spotlight this area of bare flesh. Christopher Kane – whose side project is to make Crocs cool again, and it’s working – whose one shouldered, fitted velvet dress was elegant and understated amongst a louder, maverick collection. At J.W.Anderson, sleeveless low-slung bubble dresses and spaghetti-strap tops were styled with long handless gloves, emphasising the flesh between (which happened to be the shoulder). At Pringle, black tops cut at right angles showed off a shoulder here and there, while other dresses and tops bared all. It was a similar style at Roland Mouret, while at Teatum Jones the designers drew attention to the area with cut out spaces in purple velvet dresses and tops that hugged models mid-arm.
Subtle statements: supersize collars and lapels on coats
Unable to bid adieu to the 1970s entirely, this season saw the decade evoked via wide lapelled coats. This was a ubiquitous trend, seen at the likes of Burberry – where a deconstructed white cashmere offer opened the show. At Simone Rocha, these were explored in moss greens and rich blacks, while at Preen, coats rendered in emerald green wool and on cropped black suit jackets offered a lively retelling. Emilia Wickstead showed a particularly lovely version that married sky blues and teal, and Eudon Choi presented an oversized version in grey.
Roll it up: trouser cuffs
Statement sleeves are all the rage, and so this season’s focus on the trouser cuff seems a natural progression. While previous seasons have seen designers promote oversized and flared, AW17 took this extra length and folded it up. Offering an easy way of transitioning from summer to autumn, this trend was seen at the likes of Topshop Unique and Margaret Howell, where a gentle peg leg was styled with an upturned hem, and in a more extreme versions at Marques’Almeida, Versus Versace and Ryan Lo, where trousers were turned higher up the leg – in the case of the latter, this was coupled with a pink camouflage fleece with a candy coloured finish.
To interpret this literally, we couldn’t help but notice that while everything seemed rosy during the SS17 collections at London Fashion Week AW17, the reality of the world and all the maladies wrecking liberalism manifested themselves in the colour blue. Offering a sombre reflection without falling into full mourning, designers were feeling a little blue this season, and we can’t say we blame them. The colour was at its most political during Ashish’s show, where the designer embarked on an anti-Trump extravaganza, walking sequinned blue teeshirts adorned with slogans such as ‘Why Be Blue When You Can Be Gay?’ and at Bora Aksu, where chalky blue dresses were worn by modern day suffragettes. At Molly Goddard, bright blue tulle offered a fairy-tale version of the colour; at Joseph, navy pea-coats and rompers were complimented by cerulean silk pyjama-esque trousers. For some, the colour served as a more personal tribute. To commemorate the untimely passing of designer Richard Nicoll last year, Serbian born Roksanda showed numerous pieces in the Pantone-recognised ‘Nicoll Blue’.
Shearling and fur coats
Designers such as Markus Lupfer took shearling to next levels, inviting audiences to go beyond the usual sheepskin trim and embrace a full shearling look. Topshop Unique offered a similar incantation: this was the season to go big. At Shrimps, signature playful faux-fur coats with illustration offered a lighter look, while at Simone Rocha a kind of decadent elegance was shown through vast oversized fur pieces, complete with waist tie.