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Posted March 2nd by Design Splat in #WW - Writers Wednesday, Fashion, Lily

Seeing spots

As the tents and aftermaths of the parties from London Fashion Week are cleared up, and the fashion elite jet off for Milan and then Paris, it is time to reflect upon what our native designers showcased as the up and coming trends for the next season. Fashion design, if done properly, can be equal in status to any other form of artistic expression, providing an outlet for emotions and imagination, as well as inspiring others who look at it. And I have to admit, LFW didn’t disappoint.

How to describe the overall feeling emanating from the collections? I think Giles Deacon said it best. “I like the idea of the Fin de Siècle and the Belle Epoque, of decadence, uncertainty, the notion of something new beginning from something old.” The Fin de Siècle, refers to an end of an era and the start of a new one – epitomised by degeneration but also a hope and freshness. On the degeneration side, gothic colours and hard silhouettes were common, however they were softened with lace and brocade. Many designers flew close to the femininity of chiffon and floral prints, however they were toughened up by structured tailoring or austere high necklines of crisp shirts. Think gothic but romantic and you’ll be most of the way there.

In keeping with the Belle Epoque atmosphere, jewelled pieces, devore and velvet were common, as were fake and real furs. As anyone who knows me will testify, I am more than partial to a (fake!) fur trim/coat/bag/hat….anything really – so this trend more than excites me. However, as always, someone had to take it too far. Now I’m going to take a big risk here, and criticise a stalwart of the British fashion industry which has a legion of fans – but someone has to say it…what on earth was Topshop thinking at their Unique show? The Dalmatian theme was, sorry to say it, barking mad. The models with their black noses and hair pulled inhumanely tight into ear shapes was one thing, but the Dalmatian coats, socks, shoes, and even fingernails? Opening the show to Cruella De Ville’s theme song, did they forget that she was the villain of the story, and that the majority of people prefer the Dalmatian spots where they belong – on the dogs? That said, I am sure that come the Autumn when the range hits stores nationwide, there shall be an army of Dalmations walking around your town centre.

Of all the trends and images to emerge from LFW, the one that I’m going to try immediately though is actually nothing to do with fashion. It actually comes from the Holly Foulton after-party. Yes her show was full of the printed silks and spots that will come to dominate the style stakes in A/W this year, but serving bespoke cocktails at her party, decorated with her initials in cocoa powder on the top was such a charming and stylish touch. We’ve all seen the big coffee chains do it on our cappuccinos – but why oh why have we not thought to do it on our cocktails?! Don’t forget, great design can be anywhere – and later tonight it shall be on top of my drink.

Love Lily


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