Shoulders barge back into fashion

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Big shoulders are back. The fifth day of London Fashion Week yesterday confirmed a major trend of the week, and potentially the season. The only consolation for people who remember them with a shudder from last time around is the variety of shapes. There's more to the look than Alexis Colby or Melanie Griffith in Working Girl.

Agyness Deyn announced their return at Henry Holland. She was the first model to appear at the show in a green blazer with large, sharp shoulders that would necessitate walking through doors sideways. Boxy jackets, shift dresses and wide trousers came in block shades of green, turquoise, pink and purple, punctuated by white and inspired by paint colour charts.

Many of the up and coming designers who provided the focus of yesterday's shows picked up on it.

Peter Pilotto, the label designed by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, threw the spotlight onto the shoulders in a collection of otherworldy clothes. The duo added dense clusters of crystals to the shoulders of body-conscious dresses. While many of the week's defined shoulders – as seen on shaggy coats at Marios Schwab and jackets at Jaeger – referenced the 1980s or the 1940s, the Pilotto show was inspired by a historically distant reference, namely the "awe and wonder of the big bang".

Later in the day the three young designers at the Fashion East show also seized the trend. Holly Fulton described her inspirations as "art deco on crack, Eduardo Paolozzi and robots", featuring wide shoulders reminiscent of an American footballer. The look was distinctly 80s at Maria Francesca Pepe, a jewellery and womenswear label: sharp-shouldered jackets and coats, with high waisted trousers. The third designer, Natascha Stolle, showed mannish blazers with oversized but unstructured shoulders.

The vision of femininity from the three women showing at Fashion East was decidedly confident and powerful, with no room for romance or saccharine garments. London Fashion Week is not only known for being an incubator of new talent, it is also where trends that started to emerge during the New York Collections come to fruition. Expect to see strong shoulders for strong women in the shops next autumn.

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