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!
Mary Katrantzou Ready To Wear A/W 17
As any princess-loving girl knows, fairy tales are not all singing birds and walks into the sunset. They play on the tension between good and evil, light and dark; for every wide-eyed heroine there is an evil step mother or jealous witch, for every true love’s kiss there is a death-like sleeping curse, wall of thorns and fire breathing dragon. It is this tension that Mary Katrantzou played on in her A/W 17 show, a collection inspired by Disney’s less celebrated (but perhaps most spectacular) film: Fantasia. Fantasia, a spellbinding visual feast accompanied by some of the greatest pieces of music in the Western vernacular, was first released in 1940. The Forties were a decade dominated by war and tragedy, but also known for the glamour of film noir and the femme fatale. Fantasia, in all its fantastical glory, touches on this darkness in its own unique, surreal way.
“I was thinking of different kingdoms, the Magic Kingdom and Fantasia, which I first saw when I was about 10, and how Disney used the music to animate the characters,” Katrantzou detailed after the show. “I wanted to counterbalance that with the Forties, and the heroines of film noir.” The result is a triumph of the tromp l’oeil. Images from the film are translated into liquid looking sequinned dresses, almost appearing to come alive as models sashayed down the catwalk; and in moody shades of twilight blue, berry red, inky black and dark purple Katrantzou reimagined the 40s silhouette, all fringe, fur collars and nipped in waists. This is truly a wardrobe worthy of any silver screen heroine. Or perhaps a modern day princess.
Topshop Unique Ready To War A/W 17
Any and every British teenage girl has, at one point in her life, owned something from Topshop. The vast majority make it their destination when shopping, Topshop often constitutes the majority of their wardrobes, and they have often lusted over the more expensive pieces (the Kate Moss collection, alas never to be mine). In an ode to British youth culture Topshop Unique A/W 17 can only be described the stuff of 90s kids’ dreams. From the trippy ‘happy weekender’ jumper Lily Donaldson wore to open the show, to the peace sign, daisy and mushroom pins adorning models, the PVC miniskirts, psychedelic rainbow prints, faux shearling and floaty floral dresses, this was a millennial take on the rave and festival culture of the 90s.
Whilst rave is a dead art in Britain, Topshop Unique offer up a nostalgia-tinged celebration of the youth – a subtle but powerful message to be given in the age of Brexit, youth protest and an increasingly deaf government. As such it isn’t hard to imagine to seeing these outfits out in your hometown or at Glastonbury. Given that Topshop has a see-now, buy-now option this is more than likely.
Anya Hindmarch Ready To Wear A/W 17
Imagine a Wes Anderson film but set in a ski resort and you have Anya Hindmarch’s A/W 17 show. Romanticised and retro, the alpine-themed collection included sorbet coloured coats and capes, Scandinavian-inspired knits, sunglasses posing as ski goggles, cosy fur collars and hats, and a Brit-on-holiday socks and slides combination. The highlight was the cute, kitschy embellishments that made their way on to the cuffs, labels and epaulets of coats and Hindmarch’s playful use of shearling: some models wore colourful fur wraps, some furry pompoms in their hair, and some fuzzy slides complete with googly eyes.
Words by Esther Newman