LFW SS16 highlights: day 3

Margaret Howell ss16

My favourite LFW show for compiling my personal shopping wish list, Margaret Howell was in a chirpy mood yesterday morning, with bright pops of red punctuating her minimalist neutrals (above and below). Alongside her poppy red peg pants and dotty silk neckerchiefs were a few sensible favourites, namely elbow-length little black knits, voluminous cuffed indigo jeans and some rather fabulous culottes…
Margaret Howell ss16
Margaret Howell ss16
Margaret Howell ss16

Paul Smith got the silk neckerchief memo too, fashioning his jaunty red one as his show invite – which may have inspired my impromptu #flatlayskills on the back seat of my VIP Mercedes. Actually, jaunty is a good word to describe Paul Smith overall, with lots of colour and some great accessory action. The belts over trousers suits went down particularly well, and I loved the concertina leather bags and sculptural silver jewellery…

Paul Smith ss16

No edgy back-of-beyond location for Paul Smith. He chose the Serpentine Sackler Gallery as his venue, a pebble-skim from the Serpentine itself, which was extremely picturesque in the late September sunshine…
Serpentine, London

At Topshop Unique, it was all about the working girl’s day-to-night uniform – think blazers galore teamed with tea dresses and huge marabou stoles. I loved the matte red lip that every girl wore, the polar opposite of this summer’s no make-up make-up look. Topshop’s big digital fanfare this season is a clever one based around colour. It’s teamed up with Pinterest to let you define the most frequent shades of your Pinterest board, then shop those colours from the Topshop site. Strangely fun and addictive…
Topshop SS16

It was a big day for Emma Hill, formerly of Mulberry, who launched her new venture, Hill & Friends with a brunch at Claridges. Cue bell hops adorned in playful-luxe leathergoods (all made in Somerset), such as the ‘Happy satchel‘ with signature wink twist lock closure. It simultaneously went on sale at Hillandfriends.com, and today you can click to buy at Net-a-Porter.
Hill and friends

On a serious note, Claire Barrow is a designer who I love and who has the potential for big things. I like her unique intelligent and often political approach to fashion, in this case, an essay on our obsession with technology and the fear of it breaking down (well-timed during mercury retrograde). ‘Broken Machines’ was the idea of pitting man and man-made against each other, with downcast models wearing silk gowns and hand-distressed denim depicting Barrow’s illustrative drawings of distorted machines and human faces. When you see a presentation as impactful as this, it’s a reminder of why it’s still good to experience shows and fashion presentations in the flesh.
1 Claire Barrow ss16
Claire Barrow ss16
Claire Barrow ss16

More illustration came from Julie Verhoeven, whose painterly strokes now adorn bags and knits by Edition. These silk-backed knits are stunning…
Julie Verhoeven

My first ever fashion show was a Vivienne Westwood one over 20 years ago at the Institute Of Directors. It was the velvet crinnie and bustier era and super exciting. Yesterday’s Red Label show had a different kind of energy but was no less thrilling because putting on a show show, is something Vivienne Westwood absolutely understands. Every show is an activist show for Viv but she makes it feel like a celebration. I loved the soundtrack created by Dominik Emrich, featuring a cacophany of dialogue about blogger this, slash-slash that and social media the other. The serious message underpinning the show (called ‘Mirror the World’) was that away from our obsession with documenting the superficial (avo toast, anyone?), we should be politicising ourselves and we shouldn’t be afraid to look good at the same time. After the show, I got chatting backstage to one of her young dressers, whose sweatshirt seemed to echo the sentiment…
Vivienne Westwood ss16
Vivienne Westwood show

WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGES: Images by Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl except Margaret Howell backstage by Catwalking.com

With thanks to Mercedes-Benz