London never fails to inspire with youthful energy and risk-taking. Fall 2018 was a grand riot of ideas, concepts and newness juxtaposed against a background of fine tailoring England has become synonymous with throughout the years.
Simone Rocha embraced this power play of old world, new ideas brilliantly with imaginative takes on the iconically English style personified by the Brontë sisters. Prim ruffles, floral embroidery, ribbon ties, long gloves, body-obscuring volume — it was all there layered on for full modest effect. But Rocha played a subversive hand too, unexpectedly decorating dresses with stiff grid-patterned net overlays rendered in gold tinsel, military green overcoats in lacquered patent leather and models stomping in goat fur boots or brogues. These are not the wallflowers we assumed afterall. No forlorn waiting for their Heathcliffs to arrive, these ladies are marching confidently forward to their own drum.
Burberry is a linchpin of the London establishment, but it’s a house in the news more for its business comings and goings than for its designs lately. Christopher Bailey has repositioned the heritage brand over the years as a modern menswear must, and built up the buzz for womenswear, perfume and beauty, culminating in his ascension to the dual-title of Chief Creative Officer and President. However, with revenue and growth slowing, Bailey presented his swan song this season as news exploded that buzzy designer Riccardo Tisci would be the next to take the helm.
But for his finale, Bailey decided to celebrate with pride: a Rainbow Check collection, supporting LGBTQ charities, was a main highlight, while top designs under his 17 year tenure, as well as archival styles from the 60’s-80’s took celebratory walks on the runway.The blend seemed like the perfect reflection as well as look ahead, with these styles broken into drops that will be immediate over the next few months — a Buy Now, Wear Now concept Bailey was at the forefront of with his constant focus on digitalizing and modernizing Burberry’s business. Will Tisci hold onto this philosophy? This and many more questions remain, but all eyes will be on the Nova Check come September.
Since 2012, former architect turned creative director Josep Font has transformed Delpozo from a sleepy Spanish fashion heritage brand into a go-to for modern classics in buzzworthy color combos. Furthermore, he pushed the brand forward by showing first during New York Fashion Week and now in London, a transatlantic move that speaks to his vision of a Delpozo known for youthful energy and soft tailoring. For Fall 2018, Font didn’t deviate too far from this formula, but still managed to refresh these codes he’s pioneered. Butter yellows, carnation pinks and cerulean blues playfully contoured across ruffle front dresses, rounded-shoulder blouses and wide-legged, draped pants for a collection that felt free and fresh — and perhaps a tad more Spring? Was he presenting a buy now variation of Fall? One thing that definitely felt very new and now was Font’s masculine/feminine hybrids: blown out houndstooth capes, structural pinafores and leather belts completed with sculpted florals. These are the new romantics.