Preen By Thornton Bregazzi AW19 catwalk at London Fashion Week, February 2019
Preen By Thornton Bregazzi AW19 catwalk at London Fashion Week, February 2019

London Fashion Week: From super-influencers to the political power of dance, this is what happened on day three

Everything that happened on day three of London fashion week

Sarah Young
Sunday 17 February 2019 23:38
Comments

On Sunday, fashion industry heavyweights descended upon London as the third day of the Autumn/Winter shows provided a heady mix of emerging talent and sartorial stalwarts.

While all eyes were peeled for Riccardo Tisci’s hotly anticipated second collection for Burberry, other members of the establishment – Vivienne Westwood, Victoria Beckham, Margaret Howell and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi – drew in legions of loyal fans.

What we saw on the runway was an elevation of the everyday. Here, streetwear and office-appropriate tailoring were given an inventive twist, while a number of designers modernised traditional woven textiles with the addition of lace, slinky silk and sequins.

But, while whatever was on the catwalk certainly captured our imagination, it was the front row – or FROW as it’s otherwise known – that really caught our eye.

You see, this season, more than any other, London Fashion Week’s benches were dominated by the industry’s super-influencers.

No longer the reserve of editors, models and Hollywood stars, these days it seems influencers and their digital followings are valued more than ever.

Smartphone wielding Insta-stars including Victoria Magrath (In The FROW) and triplets Elnaz, Tanaz and Golnaz were today sitting pride of place.

And if this season is any indication, they are here to stay.

Whether you favour the old or the new, there were no signs of slowing down on day three, and the good news is there’s still plenty more to come with big names like J.W. Anderson, Erdem and Roksanda come Monday.

Here’s everything you need to know about day three of London Fashion Week autumn/winter 2019.

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi celebrates the political power of dance

Preen By Thornton Bregazzi (AFP/Getty)

Partners in life as well as business, husband and wife team Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton sought to bring communities together through the power of dance, music, and of course, fashion this season.

A room decorated with a cross-section of colourful may poles set the tone, while guests were greeted at their seats by a range of books from which the duo had sought inspiration.

The list of literature included everything from a book on Irish dance tunes to the history of Morris dance and famous Manchester nightclub The Hacienda.

The inspirations were referenced quite literally with scopped necklines and ruffle hemmed mini dresses referenced from Irish dancing costumes, graphic glitter chevron knits inspired by the Hacienda interior and ruffles of lace, taken directly from the Welsh textile weaver’s aprons.

But, what really stole the show here were the pieces that called to mind Timothee Chalamet’s harness at this year’s Golden Globes.

Many of Preen’s models sported said body harnesses but, unlike Chalamet’s which many believed was a reference to “sex dungeon culture”, these ones committed to the women’s bodies loosely, leaving a wistful trail of fabric behind them and fastening with an award-winning Morris Dancer rosette. Best in show for sure.

Roland Mouret moves towards a gender fluid future

Roland Mouret is a designer that’s forged a successful career dressing women.

But last season we saw Mouret backtrack on the body-oriented garb he has become known for in favour of a more laissez faire attitude – a move he said came in the wake of #MeToo.

On Sunday, he took this one step further with an exploration of sizing, gender and sustainability.

“In the last 20 years we all have become prisoners of sizing and gender, and I see this collection as a way to free ourselves,” he said. “I really want to challenge the way we wear clothes and reduce the way we insatiably consume.”

Musing on his own experience of shopping in flea markets as a teenager, Mouret presented a considered collection of oversized coats, louche trouser suits and punchy prints. The suggestive details were still there – think sheer blouses, shoulder baring dresses and thigh-high slits – but this season there was more of a focus on styling and woman’s ability to wear what she wants, regardless of whether or not it ‘fits’.

The show also gave us a diverse cast of models including, for the very first time, a handful of men.

But it was Sabrina Dhowre’s presence that really captured the crowd’s attention. A model, former beauty queen and the fiancé of actor Idris Elba, Dhowre commanded the catwalk in yet another testament to Mouret’s ability to dress women according to how they want to, and not how they’re expected to, look.

Margaret Howell sticks to what she does best

A creation from British designer Margaret Howell (AFP/Getty)

For autumn/winter 2019, Margaret Howell returned to the minimalist showspace of the Rambert Dance Company, with a collection that offered more riffs on traditional tailoring.

Not one for obvious statements, the clothes were predictable to a point with Howell sticking to what she does best.

From button-down shirts to roomy trousers, loose knits, pleated skirts and slouchy shorts, all of the designer’s trademark pieces were present.

But this time they did come with a utilitarian spin. Among the standouts were those you could imagine real men and women wearing, such as corduroy collared jackets, chunky cardigans, padded vests and shearling-lined coats.

The designer also branched out from her usual palette of navy, black and crisp white with earthy tones of brown emphasised by dusky pinks, burgundy and, the must-have colour of the moment, pistachio green.

Ashish prescribes a repeat prescription for sequins

We’ve come to expect a certain level of sparkle from Ashish but for autumn/winter 2019 the brand went above and beyond.

So much so, that it delivered a six-month prescription for the stuff with an invitation that read: “Sequins 5mm. Warning do not swallow – prolonged use may cause addiction. Common side effects – user may experience feelings of euphoria.” A wise warning indeed.

Presented within the insipid concrete walls of art gallery Ambika P3, Ashish let the clothes do all the talking this season as models walked the runway under a single spotlight to nothing but the sound of a live gong.

Evidently inspired by the Sixties, the women sported retro-inspired beehives and glitter lips as they sashayed in everything from sparkly crochet mandala dresses, stripy jumpers and pussybow blouses.

But, the most elaborate of pieces were still to come. Expanding into 3D floral embellishment, Ashish covered floor-length smock dresses, mini skirts, jumpsuits, face masks and even denim jeans in a rainbow of blooming beads.

While this collection was unmistakeably fixated on glitter, the designer also continued his regard for tongue-in-cheek slogans as seen in previous seasons.

This time, with a royal purple hoodie that saw the word “romance” emblazoned above a drawing of a love-sick frog perched on a giant water lily.

A departure from the hustle and bustle fashion fans have come to associate with an Ashish show, this season the designer let his now instantly recognisable aesthetic of sequin-soaked garb take centre stage for what felt like a pure celebration of his career thus far.

Read all of our London Fashion Week content here.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in