The prevailing mood at London Fashion Week was one of full-on fantasy and femininity, with millennial pink, ruffles and sequins all taking centre stage.
A psychological evaluation of the runway would no doubt reveal a desire for the comfort found in escapism – the polar opposite of the confident stride associated with the athleisure and normcore of seasons past – but, for now, all buyers need to know is that a nostalgic wonderland will rule spring/summer.
Here is Retail Week’s LFW debrief:
Millenial pink and other pastels
Whisperings of the death of millennial pink – and the prediction that various shades of pastel yellow would usurp it – were all the rage this summer. Fortunately for those who aren’t quite ready to bid adieu to the hue, this has turned out to only be half true.
Millennial pink is set to endure – as evidenced by pretty much every designer on the London runways – but will be joined by a whole host of pastels with mint green, lilac, sky blue and pale yellow all putting in an appearance.
Preen and Peter Pillotto were especially strong on this front, with much of their shows a candy-coloured confection, although other variants of those colours appeared at other shows, such as pistachio green and sunshine yellow at Emilia Wickstead.
London always has a strong showing of prints with Erdem and Mary Katrantzou constant innovators in this space, but this season they were everywhere, with florals a huge presence.
Erdem’s trademark florals were typically abundant with the show further heightening the anticipation for the designer’s H&M collaboration, which launches in November.
At Mary Katrantzou, exaggerated balloon hems were joined by large-scale bright florals while both Emilia Wickstead and Christopher Kane kept florals more traditional.
At Emilia Wickstead, they were complemented by demure cuts while at Christopher Kane, they were tempered by an expanse of black.
All that glitters
Following flashes of sequins in New York – most notably at Marc Jacobs – London designers fully committed to the glitter.
From chainmail-like silver at Molly Goddard to candy-coloured stripes at JW Anderson, fashion’s craze for metallics won’t cease anytime soon.
But it was emerging talent Michael Halpern who really carried the torch for this trend. Only his second LFW show after graduating, every look was about full-on glamour, with sequins and pleated bows at every turn.
Semi-transparent – and fully transparent – materials were in abundance on London’s runways this season.
From tulle to lace via sheer pastel plastic macs, sheer is set to be a huge spring/summer trend.
Some designers, including Preen, Roksanda and Simone Rocha, tended towards delicate pieces with layers, ruffles and flounces complementing the overtly feminine aesthetic present at many of the shows.
Meanwhile, Marta Jakubowski went big on sheer floor-length skirts overlaid with polka dots and Victoria Beckham and Burberry both showed pastel-coloured plastic pieces with a translucent matte finish.
Watch: Guest editor Belinda Earl on M&S and LFW
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London Fashion Week debrief: Designers celebrate fantasy and femininity