London’s designers blow your socks off… again

From Connemara-inspired textures to galactic motifs, Rebecca Gonsalves marvels at the creativity of Fashion Week

London’s creative fashion credentials are trotted out so frequently it’s become something of a cliché to declare that the colleges here shape talent like nowhere else. But the last day of London Fashion Week was proof that there is life in the old truism yet as small-scale affairs with budgets to match managed to blow the socks off those assembled.

At Simone Rocha, black and white prevailed, with highlights courtesy of a mossy silk slip dress and a voluminous forest green coat, while champagne jacquard was textured with bubbles. Pearls threaded through the collection – as twisted rope chokers, appliquéd as flat adornment on necklines and around pockets on clean tailoring and full prom skirts.

Backstage, Rocha explained that the collection was inspired by Connemara in her native Ireland: “A beautiful place, the textures and colours so invoking, so personal. That’s where all the feeling came from.”

Benjamin Kirchhoff’s deconstructed collection was a meditation along similar lines, although the duo’s take was more unsettling. Double-breasted blazers with shiny golden buttons worn with miniskirts were seemingly bourgeois ensembles, but in fact were gradually chopped up and dismembered to become a backless halter-neck blazer with suspended sleeves and exposed raw hems.

Benjamin Kirchhoff and Edward Meadham know how to create a narrative through dramatic presentation, indeed theirs are highly anticipated by those who appreciate somewhat off-colour alternatives. But the clothes themselves are masterfully made, too – pleated skirts, for example, were inset with lace panels and embellished with golden and pearl beads.

Ryan Lo, of Fashion East, has this talent too – the candyfloss fluff and fur of previous seasons was present today, but his focus was instead directed at youthful, lace skater-girl dresses and separates, intarsia knits of strawberries and farmyard animals for “girls refusing to grow up to become ladies”.

Ashley Williams referenced the Americana of the eighties with a Riviera theme courtesy of “dream boat” illustrations printed on to leather jackets and swimwear, and “S.O.S” and “FIN” lace logos on track pants and jackets, and fuzzy toy sharks were turned into plush clutch bags.

Claire Barrow’s hand-painted and printed leather pieces were this season adorned with galactic motifs of planets, moons and stars as well as horoscope symbols. Perhaps Barrow suffered from being sandwiched by two energised presentations, but the downbeat mood of the collection meant it remained grounded rather than taking off.

Candyfloss fluff: models on the catwalk during the Fashion East show (PA) Candyfloss fluff: models on the catwalk during the Fashion East show (PA)  

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

    £16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own