London: Fall 2016

London’s calling and I really wanna answer the phone!!

Now, in all fairness, I typically ignore London Fashion Week, but because New York is such a nap-inducing bore, I’ve started to pay more attention to England’s offerings, and shame on me for not noticing it before!

There is so much happening on the London catwalks, that it can be a dizzying blend of overwhelming visuals, but within that mix, there’s a hell of a lot that should make the global fashion market sit up and take notice.

Let’s go!

Mary Katranzou

The babushkas were a misstep, and let’s face it, she ain’t dressing no shy little violets with those bold colors and patterns, but frankly speaking, Katranzou kinda nailed the mix this season. She always knows how to push the envelope just enough to make flamboyant, almost garish, pieces approachable enough to sell, and this is her mutant power. If you’re Katranzou’s consumer, (you’ll know if you are because you make more money in a week than I’ll see in a lifetime) you’ll have plenty to stock your walk-in closet with this coming fall. It was riot of nonsense, and that makes it amazing.

McQueen

OMG, real clothes, AGAIN! Burton knocked it out of the park this season chez McQueen. Beautiful suitings, stunning column dresses and just the right pinch of subversive styling to cinch it in, in all the right places. The hallmark of Alexander Mcqueen was how well he balanced the outré with the civilized. It took Burton a while to find her stride, but now that she has, I wish her reign over this house much continued success. There was a slightly surrealist touch to the prints and embroideries. Like taking everyday objects and turning them into almost icons of monotony. There’s beauty in the ordinary, and this collection proved it well.

Westwood Red Label

Dame Viv heads up a brilliant team. They know how to rummage through the archives, chop up the aesthetic and rearrange it in the best possible combinations. This season saw a boiled down restraint in it’s delivery. The tailoring was outstanding, as usual, and the languid draping and mix of prints gave this season’s dower color palette a much needed shot in the ass. It’s another bang-up collection, to be sure, but it would be nice to push future seasons into what made Westwood a name in the first place: innovation. An unmistakably Westwood collection; now, let’s move on with it.

Gareth Pugh

I have a theory: Gareth Pugh is bucking for the next Dior appointment. He has to be. This season saw restraint, editing and tailored perfection so much, that it has to be the next logical step. And you know what, I approve. This is all speculation, I know, but honestly, this is EXACTLY what Dior needs. Someone who can shake up the establishment, but at the same time, make salable, wearable clothes. Anyhoo, this collection was simple, to say the least, but with added attractions like Blade Runner hair and face masks a la Hannibal Lecter, there was just enough of Pugh left to get his point across. Brilliantly effortless, almost a bit too quiet, but overall, this guy constantly proves that he can navigate the treacherous waters from the ridiculous to the sublime.

OK, Milan is in the mix next time.

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