Erdem Moralioglu knows his way around a beautiful print, that's for certain. His Fall 2017 collection was no different, packed full of florals embossed on deep, jewel-toned velvets, embroidered on sheers and rendered in sequins. These appeared to be inspired by various countries which were previously a part of the British Empire, but not in a way that felt like appropriation.
Rather, Erdem's runway appeared to be a melange of different cultures and ideas, a celebration of what makes British culture so wonderful today. Perhaps that's reading too far into things, but really, it's hard not to be moved by clothing this beautiful.
Pringle of Scotland
We've all had days when we don't feel like leaving our bed — especially lately. Well, Pringle of Scotland has you covered for Fall 2017. Largely abandoning the prints that have made it a legacy brand, Pringle of Scotland explored cardigan-dressing in a way that looked so comfortable, I wanted to snatch looks straight off the runway. It wasn't groundbreaking design, but the craftsmanship was apparent, and sometimes, that's all you need.
Perhaps Sophia Webster has only just recently gotten into "Frozen": For Fall 2017, she was inspired by Ice Queens. Her signature butterfly sandals were done in pale pastels, stilettos took the form of icy sculptures and snow boots came with a platform. But it was the pink velvet heels with a tiara detail, both in a short and high heel, that had my heart swooning.
Turkish designer and Central Saint Martins graduate Dilara Findikoglu presented a small but powerful collection in a small museum. Inspired by a dystopian New World, there were elements of heavy metal and BDSM cultures. While the styling might have been shocking, the pieces themselves were bang-on trend, including a bejeweled Marilyn Manson hoodie. We told you he was back.
According to the show notes, Christopher Kane was aiming to explore a "tougher femininity" for Fall 2017. That translated into angular shapes and surreal details, like pockets set slightly off-kilter or seams finished with velcro pieces. Kane's take on damasks and heavy silks was also interesting, choosing to use them in a more sculptural manner. Oh, and he's still working with Crocs: This season, they come fur-lined.
Sometimes, casting real women in a fashion show is just a smart move. Osman Yousefzada has built a reputation as being a great red carpet designer, but seeing friends of his brand in the clothing helped breathe a new life into them. It was easy to imagine chic women meandering the streets of some metropolitan city in the sharp-cut daywear, or wandering into a cocktail party in one of his sculpturally ruffled frocks. Also, pink glitter boots. Need I say more?
Finally, a collection in London that felt truly engaged with what has been happening in the world. I was not expecting to be moved at an Ashish show, but somewhere around the middle, I felt myself near tears. It was standard-issue, sequin-covered clothing, but it included versions of American baseball uniforms, with logos of teams splashed across. Many of the pieces carried messages: "More glitter, less Twitter," "Stay woke," "Nasty Woman," "As often as possible, be gentle and kind" and perhaps most tellingly, "Unfinished business" on a USA bomber. ("Keep the Faith" on a Dodgers dress is the one that nearly got me.)
Models wound down a glittery Yellow Brick Road, and while many of the models wore rainbow-colored garments, these were people who still had a way to go to get to Oz. The collection was great, but it was that feeling of solidarity that makes Ashish's Fall 2017 runway one of the best in London.
So many of Christopher Bailey's February 2017 designs for Burberry were wonderful. The crisp white garments were exactly what I want to wear every time the weather gets warm. But it was the first look out that set the tone for the whole collection. Sexy and powerful, yet demure and wearable, it was the kind of coat many women are desperate to have in their closets.
Marques ' Almeida
Fans of Marques ' Almeida may love the brand for its denim, but for Fall 2017, the brand is looking to prove it can dress its woman for more than just play. Ruffled skirts paired with sweatshirts offered a new take on office dressing (depending on your office, of course) while oversize coats and sleeves added drama. There was a hint of Proenza Schouler in the shoes and in some of the silhouettes, but largely this was another creative outing for Marques ' Almeida.
What would happen if you took the term "fashion circus" rather literally? Isa Arfen's Fall 2017 collection, which was filled with clothes fit for a tightrope act. The closing looks featured a colorful diamond print, reminiscent of old clowns. (Creepy.) Arfen didn't always stick the landing, but there were some lovely pieces in the mix, including a ruffled white dress.
Homepage photo: @erdemlondon/Instagram