JULIEN MACDONALD: SEXY METALLICS
The inspiration: Powerful, strong and sexy: Taking inspiration from modernist architecture, the collection comprised of sexy cutouts, sheer mesh and angular silhouettes that embodied a punk rock aesthetic with a devil-may-care attitude.
The collection: Gold, black and silver from solid metallic to shiny gradient hues for an ombré effect set the tone for the collection. Creating an illusion of a body armour with metal fringe chains, laser cut elements and structural dresses (looks 3, 19 and 43), Macdonald presented pieces that fit the body like a glove. Deep V dresses that plunged low on the back and down the navel in the front (looks 21 and 48) were provocative as it was sexy. Closing the collection was a finale of high-shine embroidered dresses and one bridal look with a feathered tutu (look 55). The 'bride' was escorted down the runway by a flower girl and pageboy — a sneak peek at the designer's children's line, Smile by Julien Macdonald.
Menswear: For his second menswear collection, Macdonald sent out military-inspired looks with bondage-esque elements. Sheer knitwear (looks 12, 13 and 14), skin tight trousers and embellished zips (looks 6 and 7) proved even more provocative than his womenswear ensembles. One thing for certain — this is not a collection for the body conscious man.
J.W. ANDERSON: AN EXERCISE IN STYLE
The inspiration: Guests were left a handwritten note with a quote by British interior designer, David Nightingale Hicks. It read, "The excitement of today is the freedom of the individual to make his own choice and the vast range of possibilities from which he may choose".
The collection: Anderson's signatures were aplenty at his FW16 show. Swirling mod skirts paired with satin track tops (notice the oversized pocket in look 1); quilted sweatshirts embroidered with a rose (looks 2 and 7), tuxedo shirts cleverly studded to look like chain mail (looks 9 and 17); and tiers and tiers of ruffles, clouds and swirls stamped with grommets, zippers and studs. In Anderson's world, you either go big or go home.
Standout accessories: What's on the editors' wish list from this collection? The iridescent scaled booties and the quilted leather caplets, of course.
SIMONE ROCHA: DÉSHABILLÉ LUXE
The location: The regal and breathtakingly beautiful Lancaster House in St James's — just a stone's throw from Buckingham Palace — complete with gold-leafed ceilings and grand red-carpet staircases. Fashion shows are usually raucous affairs, but with such decadent surroundings, there was an unusual (almost reverent) calm and silence before the show started.
The collection: There were outfits cast in pastel pinks and verdant reds, but it was the monochromatic black exits that captured our attention. Combining rich brocades, intricate knits, and sheer organza embroidered with glistening nero beads, it was a luxe Victorian offering but styled and unravelled with a decidedly déshabillé chic. Think: A tattered black-and-white tweed jacket and skirt peppered with rips and holes (look 31); a pullover with unfinished raw edges worn over a black brocade cocktail dress (look 38); or the closing tinsel tweed black gown styled off the shoulder with tailored tulle (look 40). Everything was falling apart at the seams, but in an adorned and calculatedly louche form.
Something you might have missed: The asymmetric jewel beading sewn to the right side of collars, deliberately matched with a long dangling earring constructed of the same beads, also worn in the right ear.
HOUSE OF HOLLAND: GLAM ROCK GROUPIES
The inspiration: Capturing the rebellion and sexual freedom of the 1920s and 1970s flapper girls, Henry Holland draws inspiration from some of the greatest party decades. Think Lori Maddox, the carefree and wild Hollywood groupie who was in a relationship with Led Zeppelin's guitarist Jimmy Page in the '70s.
The collection: Never one to not make a statement with his designs, Henry Holland's FW16 collection was a clash of prints from leopard to zebra mixed with an array of sequins for that added glam touch. From statement shearling (look 1) to fringed hemlines (looks 20 and 21), the collection was tied together by 1920s prints and detailing. The House of Holland girl is very much an individualist always looking to have a good time. Fringe flapper dresses (look 20), gentlemen's smoking jackets worn as a dress (look 25), beaded fringing, clashing velvets and cute overalls (in collaboration with denim label, Lee) brought the party to the runway.
Front row: The 'IT' girls of London are always huge supporters of Henry Holland. Seen FROWing were Pixie Geldof, Charli XCX and long time muse Nicola Roberts making up the House of Holland groupies.
For all coverage of London Fashion Week fall/winter 2016, click here.