The second day of London Fashion Week had it all. Taking things up a notch, today’s offerings included some of the most anticipated shows of the season on its line-up, from relative new kid on the block Halpern to fashion stalwarts like Simone Rocha.
It also nodded to seismic shifts that are currently taking place in the world of fashion, from the cross-pollination of menswear and womenswear at JW Anderson to Christopher Bailey’s final farewell at Burberry. Here are the highlights from the very best of yesterday’s shows.
In the run-up to Christopher Bailey’s final show, the chief creative officer teased us with a flash of Burberry’s signature check in a rainbow-style, in celebration of LGBT+ youth around the world.
However, no one could have predicted the creative and soul-stirring heights that Bailey went to for his closing collection.
Presented to an audience full of celebrities – Anna Wintour, Kate Moss and Sienna Miller among them – models paraded down a vast, spot-lit runway to the sounds of Bronski Beat and The Communards.
We knew Bailey’s rainbow check would make an appearance but the sheer scale of its inclusion was monumental. Opening the show, model-of-the-moment Adwoa Aboah sported a floor-sweeping white skirt finished with multicolour stripes, while other looks saw the riot of colour adorn everything from classic trenches to rainbow sneakers.
Depicting “Britishness” in all its diverse glory, the brand also embraced its links to chav culture by incorporating the iconic print into baseball caps, tracksuits and even puffer jackets.
A poignant and unforgettable end to the spectacle, Burberry favourite Cara Delevingne closed the show by storming the runway in a majestic fur cape reminiscent of Joseph’s technicolour dreamcoat, shortly followed by Bailey himself who bowed out to roaring applause and a well-deserved standing ovation.
For autumn/winter 2018, JW Anderson joined a cast of creatives bucking the existing fashion system by presenting both his menswear and womenswear collections at the same time.
But for a designer whose work has always centred on gender fluidity, a co-ed show seemed like a natural progression.
This season, just like last, Anderson also ditched the tight, corridor catwalk format as the audience sat on a circuit of solid benches around a mushroom art installation.
It was a simple set-up that set the tone for clothes that were, while typically conceptual and androgynous, entirely wearable. Here, the designer dressed women in drop-waist dresses, handkerchief hems and pleated skirts, while the men wore slouchy knits finished with hand-drawn authority figures, wide-leg trousers in leather and trench coats seemingly worn with nothing else underneath.
The colour palette offered strength and simplicity too, with a mix of utilitarian creams, deep khakis, and black juxtaposed with sunset stripes and paisley prints in orange, purple and yellow.
A designer known for his accessories, Anderson also showcased autumn/winter’s new Disc Bag in soft green and patent croc-effect, finished with a signature silver barbell and lace-up sides.
A name synonymous with femininity, Victoriana collars and 3D florals, Simone Rocha stuck to what she does best for autumn/winter 2018, but while the collection was typically romantic, so too there was a sense of darkness.
Set in London’s magnificent Goldsmith’s Hall, the designer’s vintage dolls paraded the runway to give us an all-important lesson in luxuriant layering.
Starting with a parade of girls dressed in gothic black gowns and overcoats, the collection quickly progressed to incorporate sweeps of tulle and lace. Here, Rocha proved that your finest party dress is all-weather-worthy when worn over tailored trousers, with voluminous petticoat gowns playfully topping bow-hemmed bottoms.
Amid the darkness soon came the designer’s trademark flashes of blood red in the form of silky floral midi dresses, strong, tartan two-pieces and lines of pretty bows worn cross-body. The most arresting of these was a patent off-shoulder number cinched at the waist and worn with shaggy mules.
A designer that’s dazzled the fashion scene with his sparkly protest of Studio-54 worthy sequins, Halpern’s autumn/winter offering was exactly what the Kirakira glitter app was made for.
The disco-destined collection integrated everything we’ve come to know and love about the label – think thigh-skimming dresses and body-hugging jumpsuits – but this time with a heavy dose of cool-girl edge.
Alongside his signature silhouettes and continued love affair with all things Seventies, Halpern experimented with sculptural silhouettes and sequin-smothered patchwork that cleverly trod the line between fabulous and fashion faux-pas.
Here, technicolour creations saw half-and-half trousers paired with cut-out shoulder tops, cascading ruffles, floor-sweeping trains and radical shoulder pads topped off with disco fever hoop earrings and teeny-tiny specs.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies