London Fashion Week AW14 highlights: day 5

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The final day of London Fashion Week was all about youthful ideals and teen romance, kicking off at 9am with Marques’Almeida. This duo has slowly and steadily built an appealing aesthetic that riffs on tattered-edged insousiance of a bygone kind. While earlier collections were rooted in nineties grunge, AW14 takes its essence from New York’s Chelsea Hotel and its famous 1970s inhabitants. The models’ Patti Smith-style bird’s nest hair matched the fuzzy furry stoles and shoes, while the colour palette was surprisingly upbeat – complemented by primary-coloured MAC paint ringing the eyes. The signature raw-edged denim was still in evidence, but I loved the new glamorous edge coming through in colour-drenched velvet and satin…

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Another wake-up call came an hour later, via Anya Hindmarch, she of the stellar handbag business and unmatched British wit. You never quite know what you’re going to get with an Anya Hindmarch show. From small clues such as a lit-up, electronic inviation and the catwalk disguised as a giant barcode, we deduced this could be something based around consumerism. But who could predict the bonkers conveyor belt runway, choreographed dance routine, Judy Garland soundtrack and jazz hands reaching out of the ground? The bags? They were fun pop-art numbers that took cues from Daz, Frosties and Swan Vesta packaging. Cute for sure, but this show wasn’t really about the product, but about marketing the brand (now part-backed by a Qatari investment fund) to a global, millennial, luxury-loving consumer. Clever stuff indeed. (Do watch Natalie Massenet’s Insta-vid snippet for a taste of the ringside view…)


Meanwhile, Simone Rocha continued her romantic journey of youthful beauty with Elizabethan-inspired dresses and ruffled jackets. I particularly liked the loose frill-sleeved jackets and drop-waist skirts in yellow snakeskin, weighted by Rocha’s signature heavy-soled shoes…

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Meadham Kirchhoff’s show could be smelt before it could be seen. Even in the cavernous Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, the about-to-be-launched Penhaligon’s fragrance (‘heavy and old fashioned’ on purpose) filled the space. And just in case you didn’t notice that, there was the not-subtle Tralala branding on the catwalk itself. But that’s OK. With Meadham it’s all or nothing. This season’s ethereal teen angels had a glam rock twist, their sheer lacy dresses and blouses teamed with oversized tweed jackets and metallic rainbow-striped boots or jewelled Dorothy shoes. Add in the street cast models and you had the perfect synergy of pretty, luxury, weird and wonderful…

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[Images: GPS Radar/NowFashion; Disneyrollergirl; Anya Hindmarch]