The weather was dismal on day two (day one for me) of London Fashion Week but it didn't dampen the spirits of the showgoers. Somerset House was still full of fashion fanatics including myself. First up was Spijkers en Spijkers, a Dutch design duo (twins!) known for their colorful and graphic frocks. I got a fifties vibe with a modern edge from this collection. Models wore their hair in bobs accessorized with bright plastic headbands wearing a medley of geometric patterns.
The mood was solemn at the Carlotta Actis Barone show as slow, hymn-like music played while models glided zombie-like down the runway, their eyes blacked and hair in messy updos. Known for basing her collections on significant issues, the socially conscious designer got the inspiration for her collection from the Holocaust, particularly the Auschwitz concentration camps. In fact, the slogan "Arbeir macht frei" (Work Liberates) was taken from the Auschwitz camp gates and printed on bodysuits, leggings, and dresses. I can appreciate the message behind the looks but the dark ambiance may have stolen some of the glory of the sheer technique and talent of the designer. It took skill to create the elaborate sequin stitching and lace detail that decorated the backs of dresses. Scalloped ruffles and puffy skirts rounded out the looks.
The Temperley London show was staged in a magnificent hall right in the middle of Westminster Central London and it was the perfect backdrop for the Renaissance theme. Inspired by paintings from the 18th century, the collection was a "celebration of opulence with ornate decorative patterns and textures." The result was lush fabrics in silk, velvet, and jacquard, intricate lace embroidered panels, and rich floral appliques and prints. One standout look was a gold foil print dress with black fur hat and Charlotte Olympia ankle boots.
SPIJKERS EN SPIJKERS
CARLOTTA ACTIS BARONE
Temperley London photos courtesy of Style.com