Monday, 20 September 2010


As New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011 came to a close on Thursday with an infusion of seventies inspired clothes and golden lips, its edgier British counterpart kicked off. With designers including Mulberry, Spijkers en Spijkers, Charles Anastase and Margaret Howell showing in the first two days, one can only imagine what the rest of the week will produce. Highlights so far include paper dolls plus Winston the black Labrador at Mulberry, stunning geometric prints at Mary Katrantzou and John Galliano at Fashion Fringe. Despite the fact we are only just bringing our aviator jackets and boots out of the wardrobe, these designers are already making me dream of idyllic summer days.

Here are three of London’s early highlights.


For Spring /Summer 2011, Margaret Howell created a collection of wearable pieces that bridged the masculine/feminine divide inspired by ‘beach stripes and loose fit.’ Highlights included an adorable short toggled coat, cropped cotton tops, smart tailored trousers, soft peach silk shirts and striped deckchair inspired dresses. Accessories were kept to a minimum with tan penny loafers paired with each look and standout pieces including Maud Helzen’s checked scarf in the finale. After designing for four decades, Howell stuck to her signature Breton stripes and well tailored pieces in her usual palette of white, blue and nude. This collection was far from innovative, however these classic French and English inspired pieces are completely wearable. Howell describes her woman as ‘independent and discerning’ and for Spring Summer 2011 has created a quintessentially English collection that is ideal for cool spring days


Charles Anastase found a more sophisticated direction for his signature gamine look this season creating a ‘light and happy’ collection of mid length dresses in muted hues. After Autumn Winter’s deconstruction experiment, Anastase returned to his wearable formula of Peter Pan collar coats, sheer polka dots, ruffled necklines and stacked wedges. For Spring Summer, Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg serve as the designers muses, explaining the more modest vibe of the collection. It is easy to imagine Jane breezing round Paris in one of the mid length dresses straw basket in hand. Possibly due to his Birkin inspiration, Anastase moved away from the dramatic ruffled pieces of previous collections creating versatile pieces, adding his signature quirky geek glasses and pastel sheer tights. Each model wore a blunt bobbed wig which was very reminiscent of Abbey Lee Kershaw’s iconic bob and the current style of Charles’ muse Valentine Fillol Cordier. Charles has always known how to attract a girls’ imagination and items including the divine sheer dress with floral decoration and silver jacquard trousers evoked images of the lazy summer days (of the very chic) ahead.


The former Fashion Fringe winners provided a toned down version of their signature prints this season, creating a vibrant and wearable collection. The duo showed a new maturity with a range of skater dresses with fitted bodices, pegged silk trousers and shifts embossed with calligraphy prints. The prints, formed of the handwritten letters of Tolstoy, Da Vinci, Balzac and Saint Exupery added an incredibly romantic note to the collection, clashing with faded florals and aquamarine splashed leopard print. Soft pastels and muted hues were contrasted with elements of aqua blue, jade green and orange. At least two prints juxtaposed on each look, although this was less frenzied than previously meaning the items were eminently more versatile. Dresses came in wispy chiffons, silk shirts were tucked into skater skirts and hair and make up was kept clean and simple adding to the duo’s new pared down vibe. Following on from a number of New York collections, Basso and Brooke were inspired by the sixties and seventies and these printed pieces in pastel hues will surely be top of every buyers must have lists.

This is only a small selection of the gorgeous pieces shown so far and it is very exciting to imagine what Erdem, Christopher Kane, Burberry and Giles on his much feted return to London (hopefully more dinosaur bags) will produce over the next few days.

By Harriet Tisdall

No comments:

Post a Comment