Pretty Cripple at London Fashion Week

Reporting from Control Central, a.k.a. my “fashion war room”, as I like to call it, on London Fashion Week. Rapt without a blink for 5 days straight of a fashion-palooza of Fall 15 runway shows, a minimum of 5 browser windows open.

Sustenance and props sit close by in the form of multiple salty snacks, a pink punk wig, lip balm, (an absolute necessity during high salt intake, 8 hours a day) coffee, dark chocolate and live streaming of KEXP.org, my favorite music channel.

The first show had me chirping because they used reds and pinks in their design palette–my fave color combo–and punk rock wigs on their models. Let me introduce to you a spirited designer collaborative, SIBLING.

Sibling London Fashion Week 2015

I would kill to have naturally punk pink hair. As soon as I saw the chatelaine (the  chain w/brooch holding the  cardigan together) worn on the right model, I knew I had to dig out my vintage ones . Photos: Matteo Volta/ww.matteovolta.com via nymag.com/thecut.

I prefer London Fashion Week to NY since London is a bastion of experimental edginess and unabashed creativity. I pass the time between shows by entertaining myself speaking in a Cockney accent. I find British accents hilarious and sometimes intimidating. If you want to be taken seriously, speak to a stranger with a British accent. They will be thrilled that they encountered a Brit who is a mere few degrees of separation from the Queen.

Thank God for color. New York is obsessed with the pervasive black design palette. British designers aren’t afraid of color and employ very interesting combinations.

Colorful fashion at London Fashion Week 2015

From the left: Roksanda Ilincic – photo by Alessandro Lucioni; Tata-Naka – photo courtesy of Tata-Naka via nymag.com/thecut; Jonathan Saunders – photo by Marcus Tondo/indigitalimages.com via Style.com

Avocado green kitchen 1960s with model

Duro Olowu  – Photo: Luis Monteiro / Courtesy of Duro Olowu – Don’t ask me why, but after I saw Duro’s avocado green caped ensemble, I envision myself wearing all that gorgeousness muddling cocktails in this GE avocado green kitchen, which I found on Facebook’s 1960s/1970s advertisements page.

The two stand-out designers this year were Mary Katrantzou and Gareth Pugh. You might remember Mary as someone who designs montaged digital printed fabrics, which though novel at first, grew tiresome after a few seasons. As eye catching as the prints may be, I wondered if she could embark in a new direction outside digital imagery. She surprised everyone this season by experimenting with materials that most wouldn’t dream of incorporating into a design. For example, she incorporated glass filament, rubber, foam, plastic squares and embossed leather. My favorite items were the coats, which I am sure will be the most enviable and coveted this fall.

Mary Katrantzou London Fashion Week Fall 2015

Mary Katrantzou – photos by Marcus Tondo/Indigitalimages.com via Style.com.

Gareth is someone who always beats his own drum and doesn’t follow trends. His show was a spectacle of marching Goth warriors complete with cavalry. This collection and show would have been right at home in last week’s NY Fashion Week Funeral post. Throughout the entire show, models dressed in black except for red war paint, symbolizing The Cross of St. George, England’s patron saint. Talk about redefining battle garb. Could these women fight in the fashion war trenches with a panoply of fitted leather breast plates, long leather gloves, stiff cavalry boots, duvet gowns and fur dresses?

The most captivating pieces were the ones constructed from black, shiny, cut drinking straws, which were created to resemble “birdlike and reptilian” dresses. I saw something completely different. Sadly, I am food obsessed, so I immediately thought “Oh my God, did Gareth use sea urchin spikes to create his dresses? I know I am going to have a hankering for sushi as soon as I finish analyzing this show.” Isn’t it amazing the materials a gifted visionary will use to create walking sculpture?

Gareth Pugh - London Fashion Week 2015

Gareth Pugh – photos by Yannis Vlamos/Indigitalimages.com via Style.com.

Black armor, war, bright palettes, sushi. Where will this lead us as we navigate through the fashion trenches? Paris Fashion Week is on the horizon. I hope to see sanguine collections, since the media is only capable of presenting us with stories of a beleaguered world. As for me, I have more important things to think about than what I will be wearing. Here’s what’s on my mind-will I be able to finish season 3 of House of Cards and will my local sushi restaurant deliver sushi and warm sake to my bedside?

 

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