We’re only one day into London Fashion Week AW17, but already there are strong indicators of a very shoppable season to come.
Design duo Teatum Jones mixed menswear and womenswear in a collection that was dominated by strong, if uncontroversial, separates. Slouchy wide-leg pants and oversized knits offered a grown-up take on off-duty tailoring (I love the juxtaposition of traditional cable knit with contemporary cold-shoulder detailing), while the body-skimming skinny-knit dresses made a fitted silhouette look like no effort at all.
This slightly safe mix was duly punctuated, though, by some arresting cuts, deconstructed shapes and offbeat textures – oversized ribbons laced through large punctured holes weren’t just there for adornment but to reimagine skirt shapes. Hemlines were hoisted up creating ruched and uneven silhouettes. The reinvention of the trench, which we’re seeing now for SS, looks set to continue; Teatum Jones added plastic fluted sleeves to its tench coats, again punctured by those signature holes.
The palette was a beautiful mix of midnight blues, oxblood reds and warm, earthy maize; every shade you yearn to wear when the days begin to close in once again.
It’s early days in the context of all four fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan and Paris), but so far Eudon Choi is the only label that’s excited me as much as Victoria Beckham, when she showed in New York last week. The Korean-born designer, who began his design career in menswear and first showed at London Fashion Week in 2009, showcased his particular expertise in tailoring with an exciting collection of reworked basics. Polo-neck knits, shirt dresses and cropped trousers – the anchor pieces of most of our wardrobes – felt utterly fresh and made those same staples currently in my closet feel sadly lacking. It’s some design feat when a designer can make you want to buy all over again the pieces you thought you already owned.
Choi presented a confident, covetable collection. There was nothing gimmacky about it. Instead it was rooted in a real understanding of how well-considered tailoring can be the answer to every woman’s sartorial problems.
British heritage brand Daks is also worth mentioning. The label stuck to its own signature brand of smart tailoring and traditional check prints, breaking out occasionally with pretty lace shirts, romantic forals and frilled maxi dresses (one of my favourite pieces from the collection).
In my mind, each of these labels is offering exactly what busy women want from the collections; clothes that are aspirational but not inaccessible; pieces that offer form and function; and finally the means to look well put together without appearing as if you’ve tried too hard. Top marks, then, go to the first day of London Fashion Week.