Highlights From London Fashion Week With Olivia Buckingham
If one word could describe AW18's London Fashion Week, it would be "extraordinary". From Christopher Bailey's highly anticipated final show at Burberry to furious fur protestors storming the catwalks, and the most magnificent sighting—our very own Queen of England gracing the front row of Richard Quinn's show sitting next to the Queen of Fashion, Anna Wintour.
London was full of surprises this season (except the weather) making it all the more exciting to attend its headline-making shows and events.
1/8 Ryan Lo at Sketch
It was the ultimate Insta-ready setting in the Gallery at Sketch. For those that don’t know, this famous dining room features pink shell sofa booths, soaring ceilings and now, thanks to the romantically-inclined designer Ryan Lo, it was filled with models, mannequins and macarons.
It was quite a surreal experience walking between booths, deciphering which were models and which were mannequins. Cascades of tulle and shimmery sorbet hues added to his feminine designs alongside bows, blouses and lashings of lace.
2/8 JW Anderson shines bright
Handkerchief hems, pleated skirts , splashes of colour and dropped waists are all part of JW Anderson's DNA. Magnified laces on high top trainers (his collaboration with Converse) were also mirrored on what is set to be the next It-bag for next season. The Disc bag showed lace stitching on mock patent croc effect in rainbow colours.
The simple set up and wide runway allowed audiences to really see his designs shine. It was also at this show that the designer decided to showcase menswear alongside womenswear. For the men, it was all about slouchy knits, wide leg trousers and JW’s spin on the British staple, the trench coat.
3/8 Going goth at Simone Rocha
Fashion stalwart Simone Rocha stuck to what she does best—gothic black gowns, luxury layering and drapes of ribbon—all paraded down the beautiful rooms of Goldsmiths Hall. An appropriate setting, as it featured the use of tinsel yarn adorning densely layered tulle.
Amidst the dark and romantic looks came bursts of blood red, pretty bows and 3D florals. “The collection was inspired by John Contable’s work,” Rocha said, “some elements are very Edwardian and some are more punky” and that’s the kind of juxtaposition we adore when it comes to Simone Rocha.
4/8 Christopher Bailey's final show for Burberry
And then there was Christopher Bailey. It was the highly anticipated final show from the man that put Burberry back on the map, and it was the hottest ticket in town this season. The Burberry girl now is as cool as ever, as the show opened with Adwoa Aboah and closed with Cara Delevingne, who wore a faux fur floor-length rainbow cape as a tribute to the LGBT community.
Bailey also must be praised for successfully reinventing the Nova check, specifically adding a rainbow stripe to the pattern once upon a time associated with footballer wives. Needless to say, after one hell of a show, Bailey received a standing ovation. Though there was also no shortage of drama, which began when riot police held back anti-fur protestors at the door.
See also: How Hong Kong Tatler's Fashion Team Is Spending Their Red Pocket Money
5/8 Couture-ready at Huishan Zhang
Huishan Zhang took his inspiration from cult Wong Kar-Wai films, Chunking Express and 2046. There was the juxtaposition of dark, structured looks in vegan leather followed by crystal and pearl fringing that adorned iridescent floor-length gowns that shimmered under the spotlight.
The pièce de résistance, however, was an embellished tulle gown in bright white which could also double up as a wedding gown, which seemed fitting as he just launched an atelier service at his London flagship store.
6/8 Sequins and sparkles at David Koma
With Jordan Dunn and Lara Stone taking their front row seats at David Koma, we wondered what the 40-minute delay was…until Edward Enninful, the newly appointed editor-in-chief of British Vogue, took the vacant seat next to them. This was Koma’s first show since he left Mugler, and it was his time to shine.
Known for his eye for red carpet glamour, that's exactly what we got. We saw his signature designs come down the runway (mini-hemlines, leather and night-ready embellishments), but there was also a feeling of a new chapter—with feathers, fringing, an almost tribal element complementing Koma’s affinity for sequins and sparkles.
7/8 The Love Magazine x Miu Miu party
It all started at the Curzon cinema in Mayfair, where Miu Miu presented the 15th chapter of their “Women’s Tales” short film series. This year’s film, Hello Apartment is directed by Dakota Fanning and follows a young girl as she embarks on her journey of first love.
To mark the occasion, Elle Fanning hosted a dinner with Katie Grand at 5 Hertford Street before it was time to party the night away at Loulou’s nightclub in the basement. Spotted at the tables were Naomi Campbell, Derek Blasberg and Edie Campbell.
8/8 A night out with Net-a-Porter
After a long day of shows, it was time to celebrate president of Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter, Alison Loehnis’ 10-year reign at the group. It was a full on fashion affair at Bella Freud’s new members-only club Laylow.
Frederico Marchetti, CEO of Yoox Net-a-Porter Group, hosted the party with guests drinking their signature margaritas and dining on seabass ceviche. The fashionable crowd included the best of the British including designers Peter Pilotto, Roksanda Ilincic, Anya Hindmarch, Emilia Wickstead and Christopher Kane.
See also: Lisa Aiken Of Net-a-Porter Tells Us What's Next In Fashion