For Spring 2013, Michael van der Ham looked to the art of Joan Miró and the portraits of Malian photographer Malick Sidibé. The result? A dreamy lineup filled with softly layered silhouettes, painterly prints, and a gorgeous palette of watercolor hues. Silhouettes hugged the torso in subtle folds and then flowed gently out from the waist in the form of sculpted peplums and asymmetrically tiered skirts.
All the cool kids in London are showing prints, so Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos took the digital imagery they apply to their feminine skirts and dresses one step further and folded them into highly sculptural peplums and other shapes. On their own, the prints the design duo used in their Spring 2013 collection would have been enough to catch the eye, but architectural takes on the peplum brought stripes of black, white, and light blue to life at the end of a jacket, and the flounce on the bottom of a green and red skirt added movement. There was beading, too, which looked its best in a black and blue dress held together in front by a black bandeau.
Day two of London Fashion Week was just as fun as the first, with plenty of action to boot. At the Topshop venue we spotted some of our favorite fashion fixtures getting ready to take in the Unique show — Anna Dello Russo, Leigh Lezark, Susie Bubble, Garance Doré — and made it backstage after the show just in time to see Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevingne running off to their next shows. We also chatted with Topshop creative director Kate Phelan, checked out the Spring 2013 beauty boards, and explored the piles of postshow makeup scattered everywhere.
Next it was off to the gorgeous Grand Connaught Rooms to catch the Temperley show, where we spied singer Delilah and one of our favorite Brit street-style stars, Laura Bailey, posing for a hoard of Fashion Week paparazzi. Click through to peek at all that — and more — here, in day two of our London Fashion Week photo diary.
One of the most anticipated — and definitely the most crowded — shows so far this London Fashion Week had to be that of Mary Katrantzou. Her legions of fans packed into the Topshop Show Space on Sunday like sardines, cameras in hand, just to catch a glimpse of what the Athens-born prints master had concocted for Spring 2013.
And they were not disappointed. Stamps and banknotes were Katrantzou's focal points this season and, wow, what a statement they made. Printed on crisp white fabrics, woven onto brocade, and stamped onto denim (via a collaboration with Current/Elliott), the designer swirled and mirrored a dazzling array of motifs taken from kroner, drachmas, Deutsche marks, British pounds, and postal stamps culled from around the world.
But prints this intriguing must be handled with care, and this is where Katrantzou shows her greatest strength. On sharply tailored silhouettes like straight-lined trousers, A-line skirts, and tent dresses (some of which were manipulated by flattering folds and pleats), the prints were allowed to shine just as much as the garments themselves — and neither was overwhelming. In fact, each pattern was so well placed and well thought out that the overall effect was graphic, crisp, and actually quite flattering.
It seems as though Jonathan Saunders was inspired by peacocks, butterfly wings, or the inside of a shell for his Spring 2013 collection — the Scottish designer, who was the winner of Vogue's Fashion Fund award this year, showed a bevy of iridescent separates like pencil skirts and vests, while also incorporating the shimmery stuff into stripes and sheer panels. Jonathan's ladylike collection had a little something for everyone — for the woman who wants to look work-appropriate but give a little nod to her high-fashion sensibilities, there were tailored shifts, pencil skirts, and crisp jackets featuring an intriguing (iridescent) print that mimicked falling raindrops. For the city-chic cool girl that just wants to get street style snapped, we saw exposed bra tops with high-waisted skirts and slouchy windbreakers — almost calling to mind an '80s-era Members Only look.
- Trends: Stripes, ombré, iridescence, colorblocking, sheer, sequins.
- Colors: Red, black, white, silver, teal.
- Key Piece: The iridescent pencil skirt with knit top, silver shift dress with iridescent vest.
- Accessories: Patent leather cutout heels, oversize mirrored sunglasses.
- Who Should Wear It: Sartorially brave stars like Kate Bosworth, Katy Perry, and Sienna Miller.
Jonathan Saunders was feeling highly iridescent for Spring 2013. He opened with a bevy of shiny pencil skirts, tanks, and sporty zip-up jackets that were blindingly original. Once the shine factor made its impact, Saunders shifted his focus to less in-your-face pieces: oversize trench coats, dotted dresses, blazers, wrap pencil skirts, colorblock dresses, and striped skirt suits. Coming full circle, at the end of the catwalk presentation, the designer finished strong with more shine in the form of sequined pencil skirts, cardigans, and '20s-style dresses.
Jonny Johansson and the design team at Acne announced their mission statement for Spring 2013 with slogan t-shirts that separated the show into three sections: "MUSIC," "NEW," and "COLLAGE."
Music can be a big source of inspiration for any designer, but the show notes at Acne made it clear that it's one of this house's most important influences. The new clothes were a pastiche of country Western elements — Yosemite Sam was overheard on the soundtrack at one point — mixed with patchwork-leather answers to racing silks and sophisticated takes on some of the season's most important trends. An unfinished cotton duster, for example, got an equally unfinished piece of crocodile skin as a lapel and was worn by a model wearing two straw cowboy hats stacked on top of each other. Later on in the show, black and white stripes appeared on off-the-shoulder shirts and skirts that skimmed the ground. This collection folded in a lot of long skirts — some of which appeared strapped to the models' hips with leather belts — which are just as appropriate for the city as they were for the Wild West.
Paul Smith took us on quite the versatile style journey for Spring 2013. He showed pieces ranging from preppy to sporty to androgynous to ultrafeminine. In the preppy department, the designer tucked button-down blouses — buttoned up all the way to the neck — into high-waist trousers. Colorblock suits with cropped pants screamed sporty, while flowy dresses with V-necks or sheer pleats exuded feminine glamour. Sheer-sleeve blazers stood out, as did a gray-and-white colorblock blazer, printed blouses, and a few quirky striped jackets and leggings toward the the end of the show.
For Spring 2013, Antipodium creative director Geoffrey J. Finch had fembots and futurism on the brain. Everything he sent down the catwalk — power suits, retro dresses, sporty jackets, pencil skirts, contrast-collar blouses — featured an off-kilter twist that was still highly wearable. Menswear-inspired blazers and leather jackets were turned into capes, pencil skirts featured feminine oversize bows (complete with zip pouches) at the waistline, retro dresses turned futuristic via a silver mirrored hue, and sports jackets looked modern in tech fabrics and colorblock.
"I had visions of a late 1950s couture model or a young Sophia Loren, but also modernizing the Temperley Woman, making her uncomplicated and effortlessly beautiful," Alice Temperley said of the collection she offered for Temperley London's Spring 2013. To that end, this was a lineup that hit all the expected Temperley high notes — femininity, romance, embellishment — but was also filled with a surprising sense of playfulness and a focus on separates that felt fresh for the brand.
New Look silhouettes (super-full skirts, nipped waists, collarless jackets) were cut in gauzy fabrics like chiffon and organza, while colors ranged from robin's egg blue to cherry red and aqua. Bold peekaboo stripes, Moorish tile-inspired geometric prints, and lattice-like embroidery added a hint of sensuality and exoticism. "I wanted to maintain a balance between refined elegance and modernity," the designer explained.