London Fashion Week (19-23 Feb.) concluded on Tuesday night, closing the shutters to its David Collins Studio-designed hub in Brewer Street Car Park.


Alexander McQueen’s return to the schedule was the most buzzed about happening, closely followed by Burberry’s new format to coincide retail availability and show time. Parts of the brand’s collection hung in the brand’s Regent Street flagship moments after the last model had sashayed off the catwalk on Monday afternoon.

LFW has welcomed consumers to the proceedings before, but this season saw the British Fashion Council dotting 60 outdoor screens across the UK for the first time. One of the most worthwhile public London events was Fashion Utopias, a showcase held at Somerset House as part of the International Fashion Showcase. Navigating the individual rooms of the near 30 participating countries, we found ourselves in self-imposed exile in Austria, admiring young talent Pia Bauernberger’s line of custom-made workwear designed for creative professionals and their practical needs. We might not need the goldsmith work coat with its attached multi-pocket suede apron, but covet it all the same. Romania’s crop of conceptual jewelers also caught our eye, particularly the work of Otilia Mihalcea and her label Oval, and young sculptor Adelina Petcan of Lot 26.

As for the trends, a sense of escapism came to the fore via colorful, embellished lavishness while a parallel mood materialized in protective layers, padding and stark silhouettes.


Here, a cherry picking of the season’s key looks:

Double denim goes pop
The classic jean and jacket combo was reimagined by a slew of designers, often by latching onto the shiny, sparkly vibe of the season. Irish designer Danielle Romeril cut hers from silver-hued satin, slashing jacket sleeves and trouser legs to add a further twist. Meanwhile, king of life-affirming ostentation Ashish smothered his slightly flared jean and jacket pairing with all-over sparkling sequins. To elevate the sense of escapism, he propped a Jackson Five-style wig on the model’s head in a similar blue hue to that of the outfit.

Danielle Romeril at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016
Danielle Romeril at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016



Casual staples with added extras
The edgy romanticism that has emerged in recent seasons has infiltrated the more casual corners of the wardrobe. Danish cult name Peter Jensen’s frill-adorned cotton anorak drew on the style of art personality Peggy Guggenheim, who served as his quirky muse this season. Fyodor Golan, meanwhile, altered the dimension of skinnies by letting a double-row of ruffles run down the entire length of the leg. Elsewhere, pink paisley appliques gave Holly Fulton’s practical parka a hint of off-kilter opulence.

Peter Jensen at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016
Peter Jensen at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016



Protect me… with padding
The word protection cropped up in several press notes and padding was often used to symbolically ward off menacing forces of the outside world. Marques Almeida sent out angularly cut, oversize padded coats and a gilets, while Caitlin Price’s cropped puffa jacket looked equally progressive. Marta Jakubowski’s sharply cut exercise in padding had an armor-like air about it despite the cushiony quality of the fabrication. Padded A-line skirts in varying lengths formed part of Sadie Williams’s proposition, which landed somewhere between a 70s ski slope and retro disco, though rendered with utter modernity.

Sadie Williams at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016
Sadie Williams at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016


Supercharged polo necks
Among the acres of cozy knits that were shown throughout the week, the polo neck triumphed as the most widely utilized. At Palmer Harding, half the models’ faces were obscured by roll necks and Holly Fulton went for a similar styling trick. John Smedley and Edeline Lee opted for a softer treatment of the newly hip staple, which has pushed its cousin the turtleneck off the throne.

Pia Bauernberger at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016
Pia Bauernberger at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016



Angular backpacks
Square, statement backpacks made regular appearances among show attendees and within the fall collections. Fleet Ilya, which hand makes its progressive accessories in east London, brought out a rucksack in its signature cage format, while Christopher Raeburn adorned his bright red wool version with decorative taping in homage to ceremonial uniforms.

Fleet Ilya at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016
Fleet Ilya at LFW, Fall/Winter 2016


The fashion crowd’s jean of choice – true blue and relaxed in fit
The fash-pack stuck to classic shades of blue this season, with the occasional injection of embellishment and spot bleaching.  Fits were relaxed or oversized while lengths either skimmed the floor or hovered around the ankle. Hems were invariably tampered with – roll-ups appeared as often as gently frayed cut-off finishes.