A/W ’11 is predominantly seen as the darker, more subdued season, calming down after a summer of outlandish dressing. But in a way only London Fashion Week could get away with, a subdivision of designers are turning their backs on the norm – probably as a result of this endless winter!
This season saw a big divide between the overt and subdued, with bigger brands playing it safe with wearable and simple design choices. Those on the fringes were taking chances, using textures and prints to stand out, and signify their outlook for the oncoming season.
Velvet featured heavily at this season’s shows, spanning across both women’s and menswear. The trend saw drapery enhancing the multifaceted properties of the material, essentially translating into a two-tone effect for our camera lens. British films and TV programmes (Downton Abbey, The Kings Speech etc.) have been tapping into decadence and opulence through clothing and interiors, in points of history similar to social climates of our own. Key designers featuring velvet pieces are Michael Van Der Ham (whose collection was very heavily littered with velvet), BodyAMR, Joanne Hynes & Helen Steele, Mr Start and Bernard Chandran.
Keeping with the more regal inspired theme Rotary Regal saw theatrical use of drapery and ruffles erring towards costume at Christopher Shannon, Craig Lawrence and spectacularly at Corrie Nielson. Inflated 3-D shapes gave fullness and breathed tonal life into garment shapes, contrasting massively from the futuristic simplicity seen at big business brands.
Rebel Rebel sees the resurgence of the punk aesthetic, which featured very heavily at Ashish. The modern punk and punkess are more monied, and style conscious – not wanting to just rehash the trend completely, but modernising and elaborating it. Katie Eary, Lousie Gray (featured image) and Meadham Kirchoff used textural details to stand-out, with Gray becoming very well established as the mixed textiles bag queen.
Prints this season fall into two schools of thought, one looking to the future and the other celebrating the past.
Sci-Fi nature is the diffused version of the graphical prints trend that was huge for S/S ’10 & A/W ’11, taking the elaborate and well-crafted textile designs and interspersing the colour palette with more neutral, natural shades. For Aminaka Wilmont, mixing up animal prints and adding gathering created wholly futuristic looks.
The big story in patterns is more humorously linked in with the punkish theme in textures, taking inspiration heavily from darker imagery, such as horror films and fables. Katie Eary and Meadham Kirchoff explicitly cited 1970s horror films as influences, with the Meadham Kirchoff show being sound-tracked to a musical soundtrack montage, including the classic, Psycho.
Posted by PDD
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