London stepped up to the autumn/winter ’09 plate with buyers, bloggers and journos already feeling the strain from the marathon city to city schedule. Fortunately the runway proceedings were inventive and upbeat—if somewhat short on embellishments—offering enough twists and surprises to keep show-goers happily engaged.
Peter Jensen and Ann-Sofie Back’s back-to-back collections stole the spotlight from big names such as Vivienne Westwood, Margaret Howell, Topshop Unique and Charles Anastase. The duo’s stunning design procession kicked off at a Marylebone venue packed with a star-studded audience including Kanye West and Jeremy Scott. For “Jytte,” Jensen took the mix ‘n match trend in a Nordic direction. The collection had a childlike aesthetic with a cozy, handmade touch perfect for a biting, Scandinavian winter. In contrast to this comfort-dressing approach, Back’s collection referenced cinematic horror classics such as Carrie, Evil Dead and Hellraiser. The tongue-in-cheek parade of ghoulish, white-faced models sported ripped jeans, stitched “Texas chainsaw” leather and dreamcatcher dresses.
Tailoring whiz kid Todd Lynn’s no-nonsense collection looked to the Edwardian era for an austere, high-collared monochrome display that included bold platforms by Louboutin along with leather and fur detailing. On a softer note, Richard Nicholl collaborated with cult artist Linder for a beautiful collection inspired by ’40s romanticism. The photographic prints in muted greys and pinks were particular stand outs, while futuristic silhouettes in a mix of elegant, luxury fabrics—caviar wool, velvet, cashmere—were instant crowd pleasers.
Having come into her own as a stale at LFW, Louise Goldin offered an enticing vision for a well-dressed future. Grid textured leather panels and a dark color palette had a touch of added glam with Swarovski crystals, while bodycon dresses exuded an armor esthetic. Goldin’s strong collection remained faithful to its theme of elegant protection from start to finish, promising a much-needed defense against the outside elements.