LFW was back in style this week, as designers celebrated a return to freedom and dressing up
From Molly Goddard to Roland Mouret, London Fashion Week is celebrating a return to freedom
From 1960s elegance to Monet-inspired florals, these are the standout collections and looks to love...
Molly Goddard Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto
Molly Goddard was at home with her four-month-old son while her latest collection was being presented at LFW, and his influence - and that of the entire, transformative experience of pregnancy and new motherhood - was apparent in her designs. Though her voluminous tulle dresses have always been incredibly accommodating of all shapes, this time they came with stretchy tracksuit bottoms layered underneath, while smocked tops inspired by vintage baby clothes were teamed with relaxed jeans. Other hits were bright patterned cardigans and beautifully tailored coats adorned with bows which would look as good on children as adults - could a kidswear line be next?
Emilia Wickstead Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Courtesy of Emilia Wickstead
Emilia Wickstead, the designer behind India Hicks’ recent ultra-chic wedding dress, seems to have a bottomless pit of elegant mid-century muses to draw upon. This season, it was 1961 film Last Year at Marienbad, the stars of which became inspirations in their own right at the time, with women rushing to copy their artful flicked eyeliner and impeccable chignons.
‘Surreal, haunting and romantic,’ was how Wickstead summed up the mood of the film, to which she made her own tribute, shot on the Badminton Estate. The clothes were quintessentially Wickstead; sophisticated and somehow timeless yet modern - tailored jersey, light-as-a-cloud cotton and long, lean waistlines which will delight her clients. BH
Erdem Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho
“I don’t think there’s any substitute for people gathering together to hear the rustle of clothes as they sweep past their knees,” said Erdem Moralioglu on Sunday night. He was talking after his show - held in front of an audience of just 50, behind the neoClassical colonnades of the British Museum.This is his 15th year in fashion, which he marked by featuring adaptations of clothes from previous collections. But it was also more pared back than any of its antecedents. Lessons have been learned during the pandemic, not the least of which is that dressing up can have earthy, simplified elements. Enter maxi skirts and dresses with pleated inserts for comfort and movement and plenty of cottons, albeit refined with delicate embroideries, or broderie anglaise. Separates were strong, including brocade waistcoats that work mismatched or with their coordinating skirts. Exquisite, but grounded in reality.
Roksanda Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Courtesy of Roksanda
Roksanda Ilincic turned her show outside London’s Serpentine Gallery into an art happening. Inspired by Pina Bausch and Kafka (quite the combo), she collaborated with dancer/choreographer Holly Blakey.
Male, female, thin, plus-size and non-binary dancers writhed, stomped and generally trampled on old dance tropes. Women lifted men and at the end it was a male who was sacrificed. If that all sounds a bit pretentious, well somehow it worked.
Roksanda’s clothes are bold and artsy. Entitled Women in Motion, this lived up to its name. Voluminous shapes, long fringes, the occasional oversized tailored suit and new kinds of bonding that made hems bob like jellyfish, it was glorious to watch. Back in the showroom there are dozens of more wearable pieces - but even there, colour is the message. It always has been for this designer. Bubblegum pink, lime, mauve, crimson and camel are some of her favourites - an hallucinogenic sunset of a palette which is proving extremely influential everywhere, from interiors to make-up. She did it first. LA
Palmer Harding Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Courtesy of Palmer Harding
Specialists in shirting since they founded their label in 2012, Matthew Harding and Levi Palmer have softly switched focus for the spring 2022 season. Their signature waterfall sleeve blouses - now deconstructed, shoulder-baring, and in some cases with sleeves held in place by a thread - were still there. But the interest in clavicle cut-outs led the duo (from Watford and Texas respectively) to further develop figure-flattering drawstring jersey dresses. The strategic angles of the ruching, and the use of fabric to conceal and reveal around the decolletage, make these some of the sexiest dress options around for next summer. Caroline Leaper
Duro Olowu Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Courtesy of Duro Olowu
Sick of ubiquitous floral prints? Look to Duro Olowu for a graphic alternative. This season the designer was inspired by British-Argentinian surrealist painter Eileen Agar, whose work was recently exhibited in London’s Whitechapel Gallery. The resulting prints are 1970s-tinged and offer the injection of colour that every optimistic dresser will want in their wardrobe next summer. Applied to all manner of silhouettes, the boxy printed shirt offers perhaps the most relaxed and easy-to-wear dressing solutions of all. CL
Preen Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Courtesy of Preen
‘We all watched too much TV,’ Justin Thornton shrugged at the brand’s presentation. He and Thea Bregazzi got to thinking about screen time in the pre-binge-watching era. ‘What people now don’t realise is that television used to end — there used to be static or a test card.’ The idea of static fed into spliced-together black-and-white stripe-and-check dresses, while test-card colours showed up in ultra-bright plisse dresses and colour-blocked separates. Upcycled patchwork knits fit for children’s TV presenters (the cool ones) and ruffled bustiers gave it a Netflix generation energy. Emily Cronin
Simone Rocha Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Ben Broomfield @photobenphoto
Trust Simone Rocha to find the beauty in nursing bras. ‘It’s been a real push and pull and that tension of infatuation and distress,’ said Rocha, who recently gave birth to her second daughter.
‘I wanted to bring the clash into the clothes.’ There were exaggerated embroidered collars (the biggest at LFW), ribbon-threaded layette knits and lace-trimmed, pearl-embellished cotton shifts. And of course those haute nursing bras, flaps folded down to reveal jewelled tulle panels. All conveyed a sense of coming undone over one too many 3am feeds -- an apt metaphor for a world tiptoeing, blinking, into a new reality. EC
Temperley Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Courtesy of Templey
Alice Temperley opened her World of Temperley in Ilminster a year ago, inviting visitors into a shop, design atelier, training workshop, cider bar and bakery. ‘We have a whole village now,’ she said at her presentation. Her escape to the country has given her a new title (she’s a Visit Somerset Ambassador) and perspective. An easier one. Instead of occasionwear, she’s focused on ‘easy-to-wear pieces, with a lot more daywear and cotton’. For SS22, that means Seventies-inflected dresses in a black-and-tan camouflage print strewn with Agatha Christie-inspired sunglasses; khaki suits and palm-printed evening separates. Just the ticket for a Somerset safari. EC
Nensi Dojaka Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Daniele Oberrauch / Imaxtree
If you’re skeptical of bra tops, consider Nensi Dojaka’s more wearable take. Dojaka is the rising star (and LVMH Prize-winner) whose wispy, criss-crossing little nothings have won over Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa. Her first solo show on Friday had all the petal bras, sheer cutout leotards, miniskirts and sexiness her star clients could dream of, plus a more covered-up moment: a long-sleeved black dress with a triangular cutout over the sternum. She also boasted the first power front row of LFW, with everyone from Sabrina Elba to Dina Asher Smith nodding along to the hot girl spring/summer ‘22 uniform. EC
Roland Mouret Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Courtesy of Roland Mouret
Roland Mouret, the man with the technical skill to make every woman look their best in his clothes, has softened his silhouettes since the days of his celebrity-loved Galaxy design, but his dresses are no less flattering. His latest collection, released as a film, shows a cast of models on a Greek island holiday, sightseeing in bright, citrus hued shirt dresses and dancing under bougainvillea in colour-blocked halternecks.
It all looks effortlessly carefree, but these are garments that would also make for an impeccable summer work wardrobe. Tamara Abraham Rejina Pyo
Rejina Pyo Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: ANTONIO SALGADO
‘This collection was about feeling free, after having our freedom compromised for so long,’ Rejina Pyo said ahead of her spectacular show, held at the London Aquatics Centre. While scouting out the venue, Pyo had met Team GB’s divers, a conversation which led to a trio of them - Josie Zillig, Emily Martin and Robyn Birch - performing in Pyo’s zingy-coloured swimwear.
Nothing epitomises freedom like twirling dives into an empty pool, but that message was reinforced with a gorgeous collection which veered from sexy to modest, witty to serious and bright to pared-back. ‘Women are so busy now, I just wanted to show them clothes they can wear,’ Pyo declared. BH Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Courtesy of Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham may have spent much of lockdown in Miami, but it was the easy elegance of a European summer that served as the starting point for this collection. If it looked a little androgynous, that was no accident: ‘I liked the idea of a couple sharing their holiday wardrobe,’ the designer said. Inspiration came from an unlikely combination of well-dressed men: ‘Leo in linen, Ray Liotta in Goodfellas – the string vest and unbuttoned shirt – then of course Mr Beckham himself.’ The most surprising element, then, was in the towering peep-toe platform heels, which were very early 2010s Victoria, in the best possible way. TA Anna Mason
Anna Mason Spring/Summer 2022 CREDIT: Getty Images Europe
Anna Mason is renowned for her mastery of frills, florals and ruffles - all deliciously pretty details which occupy their own fashion perma-space these days. Her latest collection was no different - after spending lots of time in the garden during lockdown, she’d looked to Claude Monet’s own outdoor refuge at Giverny for inspiration, commissioning the artist Jonathan Schofield to create a painting which became a print on her designs. Though she expects her customers to be wearing these pieces far beyond their gardens; ‘We’re finding that people want to make everyday feel special,' she said, 'they want to dress up for occasions they’d have gone casual for before.’ BH
Which trends caught your eye from London fashion week? Let us know in the comments section below