Best shows from LFW SS17 Day 3: Mary Katrantzou, Topshop Unique, Peter Pilotto, Mulberry and more
London Fashion Week
ANYA HINDMARCH: SHAPING UP
The inspiration: Anya Hindmarch was inspired by the relationship between geometry and art, and the starting point was a simple circle which the designer was intrigued by. Precision, mathematical calculus and complex formations shaped the outing as a whole.
The collection: With an array of sorbet brights, Hindmarch created a fresh palette for spring. Neoprene coats appliquéd with geometric leather detailing (looks 7, 19 & 21) were the standouts in this colourfully sweet collection. Also bringing out new bag styles, the Stack (look 3: A soft, compartmentalised sling), the Vere Barrel (look 18: A fuss-free day-to-day duffle tote) and the mini Vere (look 21: A petite crossbody) are sure to become street style hits next season. Not to be missed were the shoes — from slides (looks 14, 17 & 32) to pointed midi-heels (looks 1, 2 & 18) and sneakers (looks 34, 36 & 39) — enlivened by the very same geometric leatherwork.
The set: One of the best set designs this fashion week, guests were seated along the circumference of a concave circle, with the models ascending from a few feet below — going through a secret passageway that slid in and out.
PREEN BY THORNTON BREGAZZI: SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES
The collection: Of occults and witchcraft, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi bewitched with the dark and sensuous in their spring outing. Think: Not the fictional Hogwarts, but more realistic like the famous tales of Salem. Stars were the leitmotif this SS17; from astrological constellations splashed across dresses and gowns (looks 12, 33, 38 & 39) to the Star of David embroidered on tops and ruffle sleeve shirt dresses (looks 2, 5 & 15). The way in which the design pairing incorporated haphazard ruching (looks 16 & 34) and intensely frayed hems (looks 14 & 15) only served to play up the raw, hypnotic energy that floated the entire collection.
The beauty looks: Overseen by makeup artist Val Garland, models were transformed into walking floral offerings with real blooms creeping up over foreheads, cheeks and all over the décolletage (looks 6, 18 29 & 33). Simply enchanting.
Favourite look: The sugary cotton candy pink sheer top with an abundance of ruching, tucked into a sequin embellished uneven hem skirt — paired with white lace socks and elevated by leather platforms (look 24). Intensely saccharine, and wonderously beguiling.
MARY KATRANTZOU: NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON'T
The collection: Watching a Mary Katrantzou show is like a constant loop of the final moments on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire — you just can't turn your eyes away. More so this spring 2017 as London's reigning queen of prints revealed a pastiche of optical illusions, kicking off with prismatic waves and sculptures, motifs and symbols native to Greece (looks 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 & 12). As the Athens-born designer took a step back in time and borrowed from the heroes of Greek ancestory, here are but a few of history's most-famed allegories immortalised in molten sequin shifts (looks 23, 24 & 26) and expert embroidery (looks 27, 28 & 30).
Something you might have missed: The storied medallion — reincarnated as tromp l'oeil belts (looks 15 & 16) — used not to decorate the necks of celebrated Olympians, but as a visual trick to cinch the waist.
Try it now: Why layer a white tee under your slips when you can go print-on-print (look 19)? Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller will be all over this.
TOPSHOP UNIQUE: BACK TO THE EIGHTIES
The inspiration: With a focus on individualism and punk, Topshop Unique took inspiration from English visual artist Linder Sterling and London in the '80s. Tea dresses (looks 10 & 18), high shine glam (looks 8, 26 & 27) and risqué party garb (looks 32, 34, 35 & 36) were the order of the day.
Buro loves: But of course, it wouldn't be an '80s themed collection without animal prints. From tops to skirts (look 26 & 28), jackets to dresses (look 7 and 9) and even the footwear (looks 28 &29), zebra prints are back — and in a big way. Looking to make an unforgettable impression? Get decked head to toe in spring's new monochrome à la look 5.
See now, buy now: Pieces from the catwalk collection is now on sale on Topshop.com, with free worldwide shipping till 20 September. What's that? It's your credit card calling.
PETER PILOTTO: CHILD'S PLAY
The collection: Light years away from last season's regal offering fit for the The Snow Queen, Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos stole a page from the childrens' colouring books this spring. Fluid champagne-hued frocks (looks 4, 6 & 8); pastel flounce-hem crepe dresses (looks 9, 11 & 13); and candy-infused coordinates (looks 31, 33, 35 & 36) imbued with childlike doodles and the playful spirit of gingham (looks 16, 17, 19 & 20) — all executed with enough fairytale flair to put the Brothers Grimm to shame.
Buro loves: The neon crocheted detailing and endearing motifs scattered across more than half the collection. Entirely PG13 and parental approved.
Worth the investment: Those nymph-like lace slip dresses (looks 4 & 7) that'll ensure the summer parties don't start untill you walk in.
MULBERRY: REWRITING THE RULES
The collection: Inspired by uniforms, Johnny Coca mixed and juxtaposed classic collegiate stripes for a rebellious collection that was nothing short of high school cool. Which, could also be in part due to Lotta Volkova's stylistic chops — the woman behind the geek chic looks at Vetements and Balenciaga. Signature stripes printed across fluid silks and knits (look 17 & 19) gave a new twist to all that is old school, and the Scottish kilt reinterpreted into shining silk dresses (look 14) came in extremely contemporary proportions. Luxurious velvet pieces (look 26, 27 & 28) were treated to a slick, wet look, while ruffles on oversized librarian checks (look 40 and 43) tinged the collection with an era bygone.
Something you might have missed: The oversized bag trend is definitely coming back. Coca's paraded Mulberry's new outsize Bayswater Piccadilly (look 14, 20 & 21) as a season update to a timeless classic.
The set: The heritage label got the fashion pack to head out of central London towards South East — with Coca's second show for Mulberry staged at a disused printing factory that was rustic, industrial and oh-so-appropriate for the utilitarian collection.
PAUL SMITH: SWEET FLORALS
The inspiration: Exploring the idea of friendship, companionship and the ritualistic use of floral garlands as a gesture, Sir Paul Smith's latest offering was his version of an ethereal English garden — right down to the white and pink blooms that speckled the catwalk.
The collection: Vibrant but not overly feminine, floral prints appeared to be either hand-drawn (looks 4, 9, & 13) or woven onto cloth (look 23 & 26), with a focus on craftsmanship and tailoring. But, do we ever expect less from the notably hands-on designer? The collection flowed with ease not just because of its cohesiveness, but by the way the fabrics draped (look 34 & 36) — giving the body shape in just all the right places.
Something you might have missed: The arrival of your new summer espadrilles. Adorned with Smith's new Artist Stripe, an assemblage of colours inspired by expressionist art.
Related story: The best street style from London Fashion Week SS17
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See all shows from London Fashion Week spring/summer 2017.