by Shubhi Srivastava
04-October-2018 | 10 mins read
United Kingdom, the home to one of the biggest fashion capitals in the world, London, boasts of highly diversified and developed fashion dynamics that thrive on the perfect balance of luxury, retail and online spectres of the fashion industry. The last seven years have witnessed a sturdy growth in U.K.’s apparel and footwear markets as it is anticipated that 2018 would set the market value at 60.7 billion euros. The annual expenditure on clothing saw a major increase and ended at 57.8 billion pounds in 2017, according to statisca.com.
Leading brands of United Kingdom have made headlines globally that include high street retailers such as Primark, Next, New Look, and online giants like ASOS. The pioneer of luxury fashion in London, Burberry saw a major transformation this year under the reign of Riccardo Tisci with its all-new monogram, logo and a zeal for sustainability. In fact, several U.K. brands upheld the banner of sustainability, by the complete boycott of the use of non-animal-friendly fibres like leather, mohair, and most importantly, fur. ASOS was one of the biggest online retail chains to execute these sustainable fashion initiatives.
The wave of sustainability also hit the Spring/Summer 2019 edition of the London Fashion Week as British Fashion Council accomplished their promise of a fur-free London Fashion Week as most of the designers pledged to avoid any fur usage in their collections. This made LFW the first of the major fashion weeks to go fur-free.
The recent ‘Brexit’ might have made the political scenario of U.K. volatile, but it only brought out the best out of the designers this time. Sensational collections hit the runways for the first time, like Riccardo Tisci’s debuting collection for Burberry that took the brand a few generations ahead of its time and Victoria Beckham’s all-age inclusive tenth anniversary collection. Designers like Erdem, Simone Rocha, and Richard Quinn played with the vintage trends of hats, veils, and gowns while designers like Molly Goddard and JW Anderson brought to the show the perfect amalgamation of art, craft, and fashion, balancing Avant Garde with wearability.
Metallics, sequins, and laces were refined to leave the 80s norms and conform to the modern silhouettes and patterns. Numerous versions of the classic white suit were explored by the designers for Spring 2019 while cinched waists complimented baggy cuts of several ensembles.
Here is our verdict on the London Fashion Week S/S’19 trends!
Sequins dipped in Metallic Hues
Taking cues from the recent fashion weeks including New York Fashion Week, embellishments and sequins turned out to be the biggest trends at the London Fashion Week too. The sequins were heavy-set overflowing silhouettes and pattern details such as exaggerated knots, capes and a myriad of fabric manipulations such as ruffles, ruched fabrics, and gatherings.
This season saw the trend follow bigger than usual size sets as an assortment of elongated sequins were seen on the ramps dipped in heavy metallic hues and iridescent finishes, shying away from their usual colourful characteristic. The trend also saw the resurgence of sequins used as jeweled embellishment on the occasion-wear gowns.
The Lace Revamp
Not just limited to lingerie and occasion dressing, laces were used to their maximum extent for the Prêt-à-Porter lines too as numerous abstract geometric as well as fine floral motifs danced upon the conventional laced hems.
Laces either were used in a controlled manner to add value to basic peasant dresses and vintage gowns as waist panels, or were used dramatically to create large silhouette evening gowns and statement veiled hats, striking the perfect balance of the vintage and modern trends.
A new twist was witnessed as molded and paneled lace corsets and uppers were paired with contrasting fabrics as the bottom-wear, giving cut-outs a new definition for Spring 2019.
The White and Nudes Play
Steering away from the usual neon, pop and bright trend that has taken the global fashion industry for a spin, the LFW saw a subtle turn of events as the show was inclined towards the classic white shades harmoniously paired with nudes set in earthy beige tones. Colours that lined almost every collection were beiges, especially with sorbet finishes, off-whites and muddy whites leading up to crisp whites.
These tones enveloped the models in the form of outerwear and tailored garments set against a versatile array of fabrics like Patent leather, flowy cottons, tulles, metallic-finished fabrics, heavy drape materials, and scubas. A combination of white with beige was a recurring feat.
Vinyl saw a strong rebirth during Spring 2017 off-the-runways as several celebrities and fashion influencers adorned their version of latex and rubber dresses but the London runways revisited the trend by rising above the conventional use of vinyl in rain gear and intimate apparels. The shiny yet chic fabric was used extensively over a range of outerwear jackets and boxy dresses, going away from the usual body accentuating silhouettes.
Bold colours of the material were incorporated into the collections right from bright red and black to subtle pastel blues and nudes. A new sight was set by waist-tied dresses in trench-coat cuts and power shoulders.
As British designers played with the vintage silhouettes and fabrics, head accessories were an unavoidable affair at the London Fashion Week as melodramatic versions of different statement headgears lined the runways from hats and veils to exaggerated nature-inspired installations.
Chiming in with the strong return of the sheer trend, several hats constructed using a conjugation of varying techniques over mesh and sheers like embroidery, patchwork, and embellishment was the most common of this trend. Head and neck accessories were combined in the form of smaller hats and tiaras continuing into lightweight fabric scarves or veils to give a modern twist to ancient veiled wedding dresses.
What stood out the most were the small bucket hats and bandanas extended vertically to literally reach new heights using heavy craft techniques such as branched embellishment of flowers, leaves and even currency notes.
The White Suit Edit
Suiting revisited is the trend all fashion weeks have taken seriously for the upcoming Spring 2019, which is also showing a real promise of the return of the head-to-toe white attires. Combining the two were the designers at London Fashion Week who, in their own signature styles and silhouettes, showcased their version of the white suit.
These suits were tailored to perfection to achieve crisp formals as well business casuals. Double breasted white coats worn with flared pants, the old trend of Victorian-era- long skirts with mermaid silhouettes paired with button-downs and the novel one of overcoat belted dresses and finally, a very casual take on the attire- open front shirts with pants and fringe details- the white suit edit had it all.
Cinched at the Waist
Springing back from the 20s’ corset era is the trend of petite waists but with a modernised touch of baggy silhouettes on the top and bottom, resisted at the waistline to exaggerate the classic hourglass figure.
Waist-cinching was a massive trend this season for London as a versatile assortment of belts trudged the ramps such as wide fabric belts, corseted belts, lace paneled belts, PVC belts, and even industrial inspired hardware socket belts. The trend was also achieved via modifications of the patterns using techniques like extravagant power shoulders, gathered fabrics, and prints to create illusion visually to emphasise on smaller waists.