With London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2017 (aka LFW A/W 2017) well underway and the nation’s capital city awash with global fashion elite, we at Debut have summarised our favourite runway shows. From industry heavyweights to fresh new faces, these are the fashion shows that will dictate our A/W wardrobes. Get ready to start compiling that dream wardrobe wish list!
Versus Versace Ready To Wear A/W 17
Like a moody eyed, messy-haired army, the Versus Versace models strutted down the runway clad in a fierce collection that reworked the label’s club kid heritage. The 2017 Versus Versace It Girl is a new and improved creature however, now part-in-part punk rock, 90s rave, sports streetwear, haute Goth and biker chick: essentially any badass’ dream. The show pays a homage to the power and sass of the millennial. From the leather wrap-around miniskirts, club kid boots, exposed Versus branded straps used as chokers, on thongs and as ankle straps, mesh detailing, lightning bolt motif, and bold swipes of eyeshadow, it is a collection destined to go viral. Despite featuring what Versus Versace has promoted as the ‘new Supers’ – Gigi and Bella Hadid, Adwoa Aboah, Taylor Hill and Stella Maxwell – the ultimate model for the collection is the designer herself, Donatella Versace, who closed the show clad in a black mini dress and stomping boots.
Molly Goddard Ready To Wear A/W 17
Set at the Tate’s Switch House and decorated as an abandoned dinner party, Molly Goddard’s AW 17 show created an entire world – a world of childlike dress up, tea parties and make belief. Known for her love for pretty dresses, Goddard’s A/W 17 show was all about the magic of being a girl and about youthful dreams of one day being a princess. One by one, models attired in confections of tulle sat at the dinner table: an elaborate play set for the ‘grown up’ guests.
Goddard’s fascination with the youthful was still present. Peter pan collars adorn baby doll dresses, models wore ballet flats alike to pointe shoes, some wore Prom Queen sashes, and one model even wore an actual red tutu skirt with a silk shirt that was reminiscent of a pyjama top – like even Goddard’s models had played dress-up with the designer’s idyllic clothing. But there was an edge to the collection; a grungy, slightly more grown up edge. Make up inspired by Chloe Sevigny in the film Gummo (1997) included kohl ringed eyes and Goddard’s more whimsical pieces were grounded by form fitting pieces (like leggings and a yellow floral printed dress) and laid back items such as printed sweatshirts.
House of Holland Ready To Wear A/W 17
Henry Holland’s A/W 17 show was all things Americana. Given the tumultuous events happening in America over the past couple of months, it is a pointed decision – “It’s very difficult not to be looking to America at the moment so the collection was kind of my love letter to America” Holland explained backstage. “What I wanted to do was celebrate the culture of the country.” And sure thing he did, from cowboys to the Stars and Stripes, it is a kitsch, tongue-in-cheek, pastel coloured idea of America derived from pop culture, film and TV. One many British teenagers have of the USA, taken from one too many chick flicks. As such, it is a very 90s inspired collection, using traditional Americana and Prairie styles – the Stetson hat, cowboy boots, fringing, star and striped patterns and denim – and then reimagining them in candyfloss colours, emblazoned with sassy phrases like ‘Bitches’ and ‘Daddy’ and in camouflage, checkers, cherry or flame print. It’s Barbie-goes-Cowboy in the very best way.
Faustine Steinmetz Ready To Wear A/W 17
Faustine Steinmetz, the new queen of denim, based her A/W 17 showcase upon the concept that everyone, “no matter the gender, age, or origin,” has owned a pair of jeans at some time in their life; denim being a fabric that unites us across the globe and across generations. Despite this similarity Steinmetz’s A/W collection drew upon the differences in how denim is treated, with the designer researching up to 30 different countries and their relationship with the material (how they produce it and wear it). The result is a collection that celebrates the world’s favourite fabric, playing with it in ever more clever and interesting ways. In one piece Steinmetz uses pulled threads to create a textured pattern, another is encrusted with thousands of crystals and resembles the brilliant surface of a geode crystal. Steinmetz has cherry picked treatment and manufacturing methods from across the world, creating entirely international garments; the Japanese Shibori dyeing technique is used on denim from Tel Aviv, denim hand woven in Burkina Faso is then put through a traditional Canadian process of distressing.
Steinmetz – who has declared herself a “responsible” designer (in ) – is as ever concerned with maintaining an ethical manufacturing process. Her denim is made in a factory in Spain which re-uses denim (pulping it so as to create new yarn using the factory’s own recycled water).
Words by Esther Newman