Before you start to panic that it’s all gotten a bit much for us over here, let me just clarify: I’m talking about the overwhelming presence of blue on the catwalks today, not our general mood. The mood, in case you’re interested, has definitely taken a turn for the better thanks to the sunshine and blue sky that graced us with its presence finally. So you see, we do indeed have the blues.
Anyway, by the end of day one it was becoming clear that royal, cerulean, and azure could well be the colours of the season. But by the time Richard Nicoll sent his army of beautiful blue clad models down the runway Sunday morning, there was no doubt left in my mind.
Sticking not just to a single shade, Nicoll’s collection, seen above, included everything from the babiest of blues to a kick-ass cobalt. But we’re not talking a pop of colour here or a subtle detail there. Oh no, we’re talking head-to-toe, single shade dressing which proved not only visually arresting, but also surprisingly versatile. A powder blue slouchy, tailored suit offered a new take on tailoring; a cobalt blue bow-detail dress and knitted cape is a playful option for event dressing; while a Superman-blue, fur collared bomber and pleated mini is fun and sporty whilst still being super-chic. Nicoll’s trademark sporty aesthetic was very much at play both in silhouette and styling (models wore sneakers or sporty loafers) but combined with sharper lines and crisp shirting details (another emerging trend) felt fresh and exciting.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi also championed head-to-toe tonal dressing with ankle-length, tomato red oversized coats worn over dresses of the same colour. And though these eye-catching coats will no doubt spawn a plethora of copycat versions on the high-street next Autumn, it’s Preen’s unlikely Darth Vader motif that will likely start a frenzy among the fash-pack. Yes, you heard me right. Darth Vader’s head featured on a selection of digi-print dresses and tops to dramatic effect. One more Star Wars reference and three’s a trend (just see Rodarte for iteration one.) Slightly strange, but also a bizarrely successful marriage of floaty silhouette and sci-fi figurehead. Go figure? In fact, I predict a cult Darth Vader printed sweatshirt will start appearing on street-style blogs sometime in the not too distant feature. You heard it here first.
Moving swiftly on from sci-fi to the Tate Modern brings us to the scene of the much anticipated Topshop Unique show. It’s come to be one of London Fashion Week’s hottest tickets for one simple reason: These are designer clothes we can actually buy. I’ll let you in on something. It’s probably the worlds worst kept secret that fashion editors and stylists are not the most, ahem, handsomely paid bunch. Relying on discounts and gifts is often the only reason you’ll see such sporting displays of $1300 sweatshirts and the like parading round the fashion weeks of the world. But give us authentic, original, exciting design in luxe fabrics and high quality that we can actually afford? Well, you’ve cracked it. Because if we can afford it, so can everyone else. Long gone are the days of Topshop taking inspiration from the design elite. Hell, they are the design elite of today. Fingers firmly on the pulse, trail blazing and initiating Unique has consistently come up with credible collections that we really want to wear. And AW/14 certainly did not disappoint. After all my banging on about the colour blue, it’s pretty apt that the first look out of the gates was, yep you guessed it, head to toe blue. The oversized just-so slouchy blue belted coat is already firmly on my wish list, but quite frankly, so is almost the entire collection. A fur-lined hood Mac-meets-parka is everything you could want in a stylish but practical winter coat (can I have it right now please?) With an overriding disheveled schoolgirl kind of vibe (think white shirts layered under sweaters and grey ribbed socks) the styling is almost as noteworthy as the pieces themselves. Layering was key– think polo necks (more evidence of neck-mania as I wrote about yesterday) layered under shirts, layered under sweaters layered under teddy bear fronted gilets. And anything that keeps you a) warm, b) stylish and c) um, warm in winter is a winner in my books.
Apart from the blue, the collection was mainly based around buttery yellows, ‘70s-inspired camels and muted greys. Warning: you will want all of this, so start saving now. Another day nearly down and I can’t wait to see what this evening and tomorrow will bring. See you on the flip side for your daily update from LFW.