ROKSANDA: TWO SIDES TO A STORY
The inspiration: Director Liliana Cavani's The Night Porter and fashion photographer Deborah Turbeville lead Roksanda Ilincic's fall 2016 offering of texturally rich paisleys, fur and charmeuse. Capturing the film's central theme of taboo desires, its push and pull and, Turbeville's signature dark allure, Ilincic proposed a woman's charm deftly concealed — the beauty of it all lies within peeling back the layers.
The collection: Victorian collars (look 26), pleated overlayed necklines (look 4) and fur stoles (look 5) lining the décolletage. The running thread? The duality of modesty and the art of stoking the imagination. Doing so in an extravaganza of fabric fusion, there's not one textile Ilincic won't take up: Suede, fur, brocade, shearling and charmeuse were tamed in an inviting fall palette of bronze, deep burgundy and teal contrasted with ballerina pink. Also debuting Roksanda bags this fall/winter 2016, the pouches and totes the models were clutching are the designer's first foray into accessories, with the exception of collaborations.
Buro loves: The contrast of control and fluidity Ilincic aced. Showing a singular piped suit (look 24) amongst the sea of flowing floor length dresses, the designer further drove home her point of duality, a distinctive trope from her 20th century film inspiration.
ERDEM: FLOWER POWER
The collection: Erdem Moralioglu has demonstrated throughout the seasons that florals are his definitive motif. But less predictable perhaps, is the form in which the designer chooses to express his romantic blooms each time around. Moving forward in time from spring/summer's trip to the prairies, Moralioglu tapped on the '30s and '40s eras this FW16. Nipped waists, fluted sleeves and hems dominated his runway, even when it came to the suit jackets.
Standing ovation: As if the regular sightings of florals, lace and organza in a whirlwind mash-up is no longer enough, Erdem came on strong with glitter this season. See the chrome bell-sleeved top and skirt in look 27, and the midi gown in look 31 layered under a delicate organza and tulle sheer dress. Stunning.
Something you might have misssed: As with any designer of Moralioglu's penchant and calibre, design details are usually unleashed and never sprinkled sparingly. Moralioglu gets cheeky with the gilded fringed ensembles — looks 33 & 34 — by constructing the pieces with organza underneath the fringing, placing the rousing quality of the designs in movement and dynamism.
PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND: NEW BEGINNINGS
The inspiration: Pringle of Scotland's new womenswear design director, Fran Stringer presented her first runway collection for the brand. The designer took inspiration from the storied house's history and heritage, albeit presenting it with relevance for the woman of today. Nature was the dominant factor here — the colour palette for fall 2016 was inspired by woody tones and highland hues.
The collection: Laidback, fresh and with a youthful sensibility, the collection brought the heritage house's signature knit technique to a whole new level. Inventive and bright in modern silhouettes, here's yet another designer nod to the alluring '90s. Standout pieces were the twinsets, knit camisole dresses paired with a shearling coat (look 19), comfy jumpers teamed with ribbed and slouchy maxiskirts (looks 16 & 18), a female version of fisherman knits (look 6) and, a knitted cowl top with a waist tie (look 15). Luxurious, feminine and quietly playful, here's where you strike gold when it comes to the everyday wardrobe.
Try it now: Two centuries ago, knitwear used to be solely reserved for underwear. Stringer presented a playful take on the tidbit by including bustiers layered over knit tops (looks 2 & 3). Sick of the plain ol' chunky knit to stave off the cold? Take a cue from the designer's runway and pair your corsets over jumpers for added effect.
CHRISTOPHER KANE: UNLIKELY BEDFELLOWS
The collection: Scottish design star Christopher Kane has a knack for turning the most mundane everyday items into a quirky statement. This time around, plastic bags and low-rent party streamers were transformed into headscarves and one-of-a-kind design details. Bolstered by bright blooms appliquéd, painterly watercolours and flapper fringing, Kane channeled the babushka and glamour girl for fall 2016 — unlikely bedfellows brought together by this wunderkind's magic.
Buro loves: The innovative fringing. Whimsically executed shortly after the industry's FW15 obessesion with the design detail, Kane demonstrated the true meaning of fringe benefits by applying it in a riot of colours on severe oversized jackets (look 29), skirts (look 30) and kaftans (look 31).
A designer's loyalty: Staying true to the ribbed striped dresses he's widely recognised for, the designer once again dives into humanity's childhood archives and puts the fun in fashion — the Kane signature was uplifted by cut-and-paste felt flowers this season.
PETER PILOTTO: NORTHERN LIGHTS
The inspiration: On a day where the runway line-up at London Fashion Week displayed the finest in graphics, prints and bold hues (see above), the usual Peter Pilotto aesthetic thrown into the mix would've brought on a major visual sensory overload. But, the purity of Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos taking it up North to the laplands this season had us looking twice. Turning the runway into a silver landscape that set the mood for the pristine slash Nordic princess-inspired collection, here's Peter Pilotto in a new (Northern) light.
The collection: Elements of nature were woven into the breathtaking collection of midi dresses and coats where abstract floral and fauna (look 18), arctic animals (look 23), and even typography (look 8), took centre stage. Sending out half a dozen of royally ethereal dresses that were almost Valentino-like (looks 21, 23, 24, 33 & 34), it was an achingly — and surprisingly — beautiful outing from the design duo.
Favourite look: The icy-blue crinkle dress embroidered with nature's elements in the signature Peter Pilotto fun-loving spread of colours, encompassing new directions and the brand's much-loved identity in one.
For all coverage of London Fashion Week fall/winter 2016, click here.