London Fashion Week is back. And before we mere mortals have even contemplated pedicuring our indecent claws and exposing those pasty hobbit feet to the world in time for the forthcoming spring/summer ’08, the powers that be in Fashion Land are prancing about in wool knits for autumn/winter ‘08/’09.
Oh it’s hard keeping up with the style set. Just when you’ve finally St Tropez’d those neglected wintery bits, and psyched yourself up for the chiffonny, floaty, floral tea dresses of the here and now (or the ever-so-soon), those scrawny Kate Moss wannabes are donning high-waisted denim bootlegs and cosy cashmere-wear. Bitches.
But all is not lost. Despite the seasonal confusion Feb fashion week is currently kickin’ ass, and it’s about to kick even more butt in anticipation of Luella Bartley, Vivienne Westwood (for her first appearance in nine years) et al’s shows this week.
On Sunday I saw Modernist in Mayfair where big hats and bad hair ruled the queue outside clambering to get into the Music Rooms of South Molton Lane via a back alley and a fire escape (all those princesses in platforms having to scramble up the stairs – priceless). Inside a single beat pulsated throughout the entire show as androgynous models with scraped back hair pounded the floor with slow, deliberate steps (there was no actual catwalk in the warehouse space) in anti-aesthetic, slightly punky, almost Gothy, kinda rocky ‘80s-inspired style clothes.
The atmosphere was electric; the crowd a mixture of your prerequisite glam gals, Hoxtonites and electro kids. The collection, by duo Abdul Koroma and Andrew Jones, was dominated by stark shapes, long columns and block colour – mostly black with the odd splash of scarlet. It was a dark and beautifully tailored collection with an exceptional knitwear range.
Earlier in the day the Sloaney ponys were out in full force at Caroline Charles where a classic collection prevailed throughout to a jazzy live string quartet. Neatly tucked away behind a white mesh veil near the catwalk entrance, the Dylan Howe Quartet entertained the relaxed crowd with their moody swing, lending a distinctly sophisticated ‘country on Sunday’ air to the proceedings.
Charles’s show was carefully divided into six themes: Trophy Wife, City Slicker, Country Gig, El Morocco, Mood Indigo and Jazz Age. It commenced in bright pink, ended with a bridal gown, and featured power suits and bead work in between.
Ben de Lisi appeared next at a tighter controlled BFC Tent. There was a big international crowd, and some recognisable faces, with a collection that was sharp, glossy, classic, and commercial.
Core looked like it was going to steal the show on Monday. I was most grateful for the champagne and the ostentatious surroundings of the Landmark Hotel, but all this build up made for a greater fall when the collection itself proved to be cheap and lacklustre.