Day two of London Fashion Week was a very busy day, viewing 9 shows in total back to back, but don't worry, I'll only tell you about the good ones!
The first show of the day was Sabinna. Sabinna is a new brand on my radar, but if you follow me on instagram (@HOWSTE) you'll know I've mentioned her several times and already brought a few pieces. Her signature sweater came with me on a recent trip to Rome too (feature soon on my blog!) Sabinna is fabulous designer with a focus on hand crochet, something you'll see on many of her designs. She has also previously worked for the likes of Dior and Mary Katrantzou before starting her own brand which has shown in London for several seasons. She creates lovely hand made luxury fashions with a mix of traditional crafts, such as crochet, and is described by Fashion Scout as a 'Trendsetter and a storyteller for the modern woman'. Her AW17 Show, which I attended was a lot of fun, me and follow blogger Megan (@MegalinaBlog) had seats at the back near the front of the runway, however we ended up standing to get a better look! The show opened with a video featuring the making of a mixed reality project, mixing technology and fashion. This season Sabinna teamed up with The Fashion Innovation Agency and Pictofit to create an application that can dress you, digitally to see how you look in garments, so you can basically try them on before you buy, without having to have the actual garment with you. The machine and details were explained at the Mixed Reality Shipping Experience later that day, but it was fun to see the behind the scenes video before the start of her show. The show was fun with lots of energy with the collection this season having a romantic feel, featuring printed leather bags, floaty chiffon dresses and tops, relaxed tailoring and signature logo sweaters with leather belts featuring crochet flowers. Below are my favourite looks from the show.
Following the show, later that afternoon, was the Mixed Reality Shopping Experience. Guests got to drink wine & cocktails while being able to purchase select pieces shown that morning on the runway. We were also able to test the Mixed Reality app that digitally dressed you, something that is pioneering and will no doubt soon be a thing of the norm. Did I buy anything at the event? You bet I did!
The second show of the day I attended was by Ashley Isham. Ashley Isham, a designer known for draping, razor cut tailoring and mixing glamour with contemporary chic did not disappoint during his AW17 Show. Ashley presented both men's and women's wears during his show which both featured a glamorous colour palette with fabrics such as silk, velvet and brocade. The collection was exotic yet totally romantic with stunning hand embroidery and intricate headpieces. Silhouettes were draped, pleated and ruched around the body and the tailoring was modern and fun with twisted fabrics such as wool. The men’s outfits for me stood out more than the women's (and not just because the models were so hot!). The pieces had a mix of femininity with strong masculine details, the feminine features however didn’t diminish the stern boldness of masculinity, therefore creating beautiful standout pieces that would be at home on a red carpet, or a night out in soho alike. I was extremely impressed at not only the amount of looks Ashley presented this season for men & women, but at the story he told through his clothes. Showing opulent eastern influence mixed with colours such as blacks, reds and greys. The pieces also subtly incorporated Asian style with embellished tropical prints and large chunky hooped earrings, which were so large they stole our attention and brought the focus back to the upper half from the elaborate garments below. This was certainly one of my favourite shows of the season, and it left me with a lustful wish list of pieces I want to own. Below are photos of the collection, are you as blown away by the pieces as I am? I could max out all my credit cards on these beautiful standout pieces without any guilt at all...
Following the opulent beauty at Ashley Isham, I grabbed my Dior and made my way to the next show, which was New York based designer, Malan Breton. This season, for AW17, Malan Breton presented a slightly gothic collection featuring black and silver shades in patent leather, brocade, lame and velvet. Malan designed the collection following inspiration from Charlie Chaplin, who had the ability to provide hope and joy to people who found themselves in darkness. The designer comments on the reference to the darkness, linking it to the current state and feelings in America, and the loss for the freedom of creativity.
“It reflects the current affairs in America, it is completely devoid of colour, as I feel the arts and fashion are being crushed here by the new regime. It is no longer a place of freedom, as this has hurt many, leaving us cold and lost. The collection symbolises death and the end of a love affair with hope.” - Malan Breton
The collection contained pieces for both men and women and the men's pieces broke stereotypes by featuring skirts and patent gloves, paired with knee high socks and double breasted biker style jackets. The women's pieces featured leather dresses with laser cut details, black sequins, patent black leather and velvet in dresses and trouser suits with strong bold accessories such as large hats and gloves. The first few looks featured lighter silver and green hues with dresses and patterned trouser suits and jackets. Even though the collection didn't contain high octane colour, the collection still packed a punch with its careful fabrication and different textures and materials being used in the same shades.
Dans La Vie Rira Sugawara
I found the Dans La Vie show to be super fun this season, as per previous seasons. Dans La Vie designer Rira Sugawar, known for print and materials, gave us 70s block colours and silhouettes. The show contained lizard print & patent leather in a variety of bright yellows, greens teamed with light greys and blacks. Embellishment was also a key theme with patches of floral collages in circular and heart shapes were trimmed with crystal borders that created a strong visual impact, placed all over coats, hats, dresses and leggings. Rira Sugawar stands out with her rebellious nature of clashing prints, colour and textures which was evident from the show. This season the brand is perfect for statement winter coats, and below are a few of my favourites.
Katie Ann McGuigan
Wow, what a show! Katie McGuigan, Fashion Scouts AW17 Merit Award winner and Westminster graduate, in my opinion killed it this season as she showcased her AW17 collection. After a busy day of shows, my friend Megan and I sashayed into the show space expecting a nice collection full of daywear looks, however we were absolutely wowed! The first surprise was that we ended up being seated front row, adding more excitement into a room already bursting with anticipation. As the lights dimmed and the show started, we were greeted with heavy bass music, and a model who meant business. Wearing fierce red heels with a killer walk that oozed confidence, she stomped her way to photographers wearing a statement, long puffa style gilet in red, and with that, I was totally hooked! For AW17 Katie Ann McGuigan channels heavy-weight knits, full-length puff jackets, reds against mustard yellows and cobalt blues, paired with red heels and oversized fur clutches. Everything in the show was fierce yet totally wearable, constructed beautifully, and expressed creative talent. Mixing primary colours, graphic prints and different materials her silhouettes were oversized and modern, but remained flattering. Using down, leather, vinyl, chiffon and wools, her pieces are complex and striking but they are crafted with a restrained and well taught hand, which ensures that the looks never went OTT. One of my stand out favourite designers from this season, whom I look forward to following in the future. I adore the strong aesthetic for the modern woman, attention to detail and mix of colour, textiles and print. The collection is perfect to spice up your day wear, giving you a statement look that wouldn't look out of place having cocktails at the Sanderson or walking into work. Katie Ann McGuigan, congratulations gurllll and be proud of your collection!
Designer Han Wen, for me, presented us with another killer collection this season. Han Wen who is known for creating pieces with a balance between couture construction and wearable clothing, was awarded Fashion Scouts Merit Award for SS17. For AW17, he followed his success with a collection that drew inspiration from the gangsters in the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Featuring oversized jackets with silver rings, cut outs and lace up detailing he mixed bondage styling with feminine pieces to create his vision of today's female gangsters. The pieces were totally wearable for day, but had enough Avant Garde sparkle to keep any street style gangster happy. The collection as a whole was fun, powerful and Avant Garde, mixing silhouettes, materials and intricate details giving a real sense of power and dominance to the collection. Perfect for stand out pieces to give your look an edge.