Obviously, when the temperatures drop, every woman requires a new winter coat (!) and The Shrimps are well and truly on my radar for something snuggly. The AW17 presentation showcased designer Hannah Weiland’s signature faux-fur coats, but this season leopard print, stripes and illustrations were in full force. Styled up with doodle printed dresses, lots of ruffles and embellished dresses, meant these coats are guaranteed to be a feast for the eyes, and will be a statement piece for any wardrobe that is looking a bit tired.
For playful daywear, I’m going to be saving up for some sequins from Ashish. Master of the message, this season’s slogan sweats contained a clear message that unity, individuality and diversity should to be celebrated- with “Pussy grabs back” or “Love knows no colour” emblazoned on your top half, you can proudly share your politics with the world. Added to a House of Holland fringe skirt and cowboy boots, and I will be yee-ha-ing my way to Christmas!
For every day, daywear, I was very impressed by Rejina Pyo. A collection of wide-leg denims, sleeve-puff maxi dresses and a rainbow selection of tops in potent pink and citrus are on my radar to boost my mood on a rainy November day.
Another designer looking to brighten up your winter wardrobe is Iris Arfen, the Queen of Kitsch. This season, she took inspiration from vintage masks and Fellini’s clowns. My standout piece was the pair of dungarees, which I have already ear marked as a November birthday gift.
If you, like me, like ruffles, you will love Natasha Zinko. Her presentation was filled with 80s polka dots and one shoulder party tops. I might not be in the market for a mini skirt (mutton dressed up springs to mind), but the peg-legged patent leather trousers, and colour cashes really did want to make this girl wanna have fun (a la the Cindy Lauper soundtrack).
Tata Naka also presented a collection with the models looking like they were having lots of fun; Exuding tropical sunshine, the checked dresses, African prints and embellishment will be the perfect antidote to surviving the winter blues, and the checked twin sets are totally adorable.
Of course, these were the AW collections, so that means ‘the’ NYE dress will be on the agenda of anyone who likes to plan ahead (me). I fell in love with the lilac crochet Mulberry dress- a little bit twee, but that’s just right for me! Depending on my date, I’d also consider the glamour of Versus Versace for a touch of nineties rave and tough girl attitude. Not that I could carry off the crop tops as well as sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid who opened and closed the show, but I loved the zip details and NEED the ‘VERSUS’ choker.
Conversely, my dream Christmas day dress would have to be the Roland Mouret 2017 ‘Galaxy dress’; Showing in London for the first time in 16 years, his collection still oozed sophistication, and anything from the Mouret collection is bound to be a timeless classic.
Forget reaching for the grey come autumn- many of the catwalks were dishing up an array of rainbow hues. Roksanda Ilincic was one of my favourites to get inspiration from for colour blocking. Choosing colours from cobalt to ochre on models with all skin tones, meant that it was easier to spot what might suit you.
Mary Katrantzou and Temperley are set to be my seventies Russian doll/folk muses, with a delightful range of peasant blouses and velvet for the days I need to feel demure. And as usual I am completely in love with the Bora Aksu collection of pastels, frills and lace for when I want to feel all girly! Closely followed by Molly Goddard, who is full of joie de vivre in her ballooning pastel separates. Possibly not so wearable on the tube at rush hour, but very SATC- and in my eyes, Sarah Jessica Parker never made any sartorial faux pas!
Clearly my taste is going a bit girly as I am getting older, but if I could wear only one designer for ever more (apart from D&G), it would be Erdem. The collections never disappoint, and the middle eastern boho maxi dresses and Victoriana blouses have my name all over them! Huishan Zhang would also fall into this category for the prettiest lace, silk and harlequin print combos, which I would wear all day every day.
Fashion wouldn’t be fashion, without taking chances, and I loved some of the collections that I saw off-schedule at Fashion Scout; One of my standouts was the Portuguese designer David Ferreira, who took inspiration from the peculiarities of the circus world. Using the catwalk as a freak show, his highly made up models tottered out in Finsk collaborated shoes, wearing layers of silks, Mongolian fur and lots of feathers and vivid colour palette of midnight blue, fuchsia, canary yellow, turquoise and pinks, resulted in an extravagant, avant-garde collection, which is just what fashion needs.
Conversely, Hallie Sara brought some New York cool to London, with perfectly cut leather suits, sumptuous silks and tailoring, this is a designer for those who need to dress to impress.
London, is a showcase like no other, and it was no surprise that in our current state of political upheaval, designers can throw caution to the wind as who knows what’s coming next! I love how the traditional tweeds, chintz and Edwardian modesty have been used as a safety net, but mixed up with a slogan top, bag or pair of shoes, will give any fashion diva, some serious activism attitude.