Okay, it’s London Fashion Week FW18 (22-25 February), but first things first: Her Majesty the Queen! Going frow! Swapping style notes with Anna Wintour! London does like to do things differently, dahling. So, how did this season’s boldest and best compare next to that royal icon of enduring style, radiant in her shimmery powder-blue two-piece? Let’s find out:
While last season brought denims that were not so much distressed as having a nervous breakdown, this collection finds them felted and offset with smooth ‘n’ scrunchy peppermint silks and swathes of crystals. The clear headline is “texture”, but the subheader could be read as: “bling out the beads”. From a chanced upon YouTube video of Bulgarian hobbyists creating their floral beadwork, Steinmetz was inspired to enliven statement earrings, bags and tops with thousands of crystals. Over 150,000 of the sparkling beauties to be precise, once that phenomenal closing look had arrived: a fluid and glistening all-over crystallized scarf top with horse motif.
It was time to fall in love all over again on this runway. Pastel shades and pale silvers mesmerized—their ethereal sheen fashioned into nostalgic, feminine silhouettes. Swarovski Crystal Pearls at collar and cuff lent a unique luster, while thousands of glittering crystals provided highlighting throughout. This was romance reimagined for the modern woman.
“I want to be a part of it: New York, New York!” So goes the song, and if Michael Halpern’s show was anything to go by, then we do, too. He describes it as a tribute to NYC women—to their famed fabulousness. And his collection’s spectacular clash of color, texture and pattern comes from what he identifies as their “power, agility and persistence.” If we had to pick a single piece, it’d have to be the one that encapsulates all that outrageous glamour: a showstopper asymmetric jumpsuit in turquoise that’s been blitzed with a whopping 55,000 crystals in all the colors of the rainbow.
This season was all about discovering new techniques and forms for Katrantzou. One of the brightest results was a pointillist knit inspired by CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and key black) color printing. These frilled, crystal-strewn dresses swaddled the body in a delicately shimmering pastel softness—a stark contrast to the stiff brocades and high-shine Bauhaus gowns, whose more defined silhouettes she punched up with yet more crystals.
At London’s legendary Tramp nightclub, casual opulence came served up with plenty of Swarovski fizz by Pilotto and design partner Christopher de Vos. Decadent silks in Neopolitan ice-cream colors, along with psychedelic blocks, dégradé floral prints and quilting, were accessorized with tasselled lariat necklaces and rope belts. Then given a little party-girl pep with crystallized flower motifs and jewelry by Marco Panconesi. Delicious!