Yesterday was my favourite LFW day in terms of the designers I love. Preen, Toga, Topshop and Margaret Howell all rank high on my radar.
Preen veered off on an ultra-bright tangent compared to the monochrome minimalism of some of the shows we’ve seen so far. I liked the starker, print-free pieces, especially these jackets with the primary-coloured zips…
PREEN BY THORNTON BREGAZZI
Topshop Unique was a celebration of young Brits-on-staycation – think seaside stripes and dreamy going-out dresses, no doubt likely to be worn irl with a parka jacket and trainers. The show itself was energy packed with a make-up station, the #topshopwindow Instagram wall and a pop-up cafe laden with sweet, tooth-aching snacks.
Essential pre-show reading: Topshop mag and Suzy Menkes’ daily free-sheet (is this the start of Suzy Menkes, the brand?)
I have to say how much easier the presentations are to navigate than actual shows. No waiting around, no seating plan dramas, no camera-phone rage – everyone finds their spot, takes their pics, perhaps enjoys a drink or two and possibly even a chat with the designer. Toga’s shows are great, with girls posing patiently on podiums. The collection was so good, inspired by fragmented mirrors and abstract paintings. The mirror jewellery and string-mesh bags were my standouts…
Margaret Howell changed things up slightly this season with a new stylist and a new venue, showing at the Rambert dance company on the South Bank, as part of London Open House Weekend (a public architecture initiative that lets you peek into private buildings). The show gave us Howell’s vision of summer in the city – a uniform of perfect grey knits, loose T-shaped dresses, pleated skirts with socks and sandals plus the odd flirty bustier or two. It didn’t reinvent the wheel but you did sense a different energy. Incidentally Burberry Prorsum also looks to be switching things up with a new style of playful invitation. Will we see a new show format today?
In amongst the show-going, brands like to shoehorn plenty of extra curricular activity. I didn’t need much persuading to check out Jimmy Choo‘s new three-storey Bond Street townhouse. It’s a slick operation with all sorts of VIP touches including a bespoke customisation service in which you can chose your own leather and have your initials stamped on your undersoles. Well why wouldn’t you?
Mulberry opted for a showroom appointment system instead of a show and I have to say, I preferred this celeb-free zone. The showroom was jam packed with flowers, a tribute to Kew Gardens (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll remember the invite…). My favourite piece was the Delphie Duo bag, a minimalist transformer bag that unfolds to reveal a swappable outer cover in a different colour.
Rejina Pyo is a recently discovered name that I like very much (top and below). Her geometric shapes, bright primary colours and slashed knees in her skirts and dresses are very intruging! One to keep an eye on for sure…