London Fashion Week AW14 – A Lookback
With live streaming, social media Q&A sessions and even a backstage ‘Twitter mirror’ for models’ selfies, London Fashion Week AW14 has crowdsourced its way into the international spotlight – this year’s showcase bigger and better than ever before. Welcoming 56 new designers and 150 brand exhibitions, London was second in line of the Fashion Week ‘Big Four’ (New York, London, Milan, Paris) with Somerset House playing host to more than 5000 visitors over the hectic five day schedule.
After a season’s break, British designer Issa returned to the runway with new Creative Director, Blue Farrier, introducing her first collection for the brand. Aztec prints and floral patterns added a playful twist to Issa’s timeless femininity (remember that royal engagement dress?), its signature draping appearing in long structured dresses and jumpsuits. The warm palette gave an autumnal feeling to the collection, a seasonal sensibility kindly displayed across the board. Topshop Unique warmed up in faux sheepskin and gilets, the floor-length fur patchwork creation truly a coat of many colours. Christopher Kane was equally inspired, the dark and moody tailoring offset with splashes of bright neon knitwear, with J.W. Anderson continuing his exploration into the “avant-blande” (his own words), dropping the hemline on heavy wool dresses and sex-less power suits.
But it was Burberry Prorsum that really wrapped up proceedings. With a star-studded audience including Harry Styles, Bradley Cooper, Cat Deeley, Olivia Palermo, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Poppy Delevingne proudly supporting her younger sister (ubiquitous model-of-the-moment Cara Delevingne), the collection was left in the safe hands of Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Officer of Burberry, to steal the show. Swathed in sheepskin, scarves and short shearling jackets, the outfits were cleverly layered in enviable elegance. The British label is famed for its outerwear and this season didn’t disappoint in either style or wearability. Long flowing dresses were cinched with skinny belts and blankets finally made it off the sofa to be given the sartorial nod we all secretly hoped for.
On the streets the outfits were equally original, LFW organisers actively encouraging visitors to “Grab a killer outfit and mill around outside Somerset House in the hope of getting photographed.” London is well-known for its quirky sense of style and there were hordes of eccentric individuals and dedicated fashionistas persevering through the gale force winds, fiercely posing in desperate effort of making those covetable street style pages. Undeterred by the cobbled courtyard of Somerset House, the heels were high and many a goose-bumped leg bared the bitter temperatures. The grateful abundance of socks told of the socks-and-heels trend predicted for AW14 with blue also set to reign, pale duck-egg or bright cobalt blue brightening up the season’s climate.
And it’s not over yet. With over 200kg of Lavazza coffee beans and 30, 0000 espressos served up, LFW will still be buzzing for a while to come. From 20-23rd February Vodaphone London Fashion Weekend will continue the spending spree, pop-up shops and over 80 designer exhibitions encouraging us to dig out our purses and invest in the trends set to dominate the shops at the end of the year.