The most important trend for spring/summer ’10 in London seemed to be a general air of anti-trend. The city has always been about choice—maintaining diversity in all its forms—and the week’s shows offered a little bit of everything for everyone. Sure, a certain amount of tapping into the zeitgeist will always be there, but this time it appeared to be more general than specific. There was vibrancy, color and positivity throughout, but it was nearly impossible to pin down a specific aesthetic thread running through the week. If anything, freedom seemed to be the trend for s/s ’10.
Perhaps this was a reaction to the “R word” that loomed large over last season. From journalists to designers, buyers to bloggers, everyone seemed bored of recession talk and the restraints that come with the global economic crisis. Although the financial situation still flashes red, the words “commercial” and “sellable” didn’t override creativity and individualism. Designers shook off the shackles of doom and gloom, giving us a note-worthy London Fashion Week full of variety and inventiveness. The upbeat mood was reinforced by the move to Somerset House, a beautiful neo-classical riverside building that injected new life into the proceedings with an air of grandeur and old world splendor as the stunning backdrop.
Highlights came in different forms. Newcomer Mark Fast hit headlines with the use of curvy models for his collection of ultra feminine webbed knitwear, non-fashion press revisited the size zero debate and the question of fashion’s role in female body image was once again on the agenda. Both PPQ and Nathan Jenden went with a line up of all black models, following on from the enormous popularity of Italian Vogue‘s similarly themed issue. The catwalk suddenly seemed to reflect the true spirit of diverse London.
Glamour was on full throttle with the return of Burberry Prorsum. From Anna Wintour and Carine Roitfeld to Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow, LFW had more sparkle, shine and eager paparazzi than ever before. The collection itself was based around a reworking of the label’s classic trench into beautiful mid-thigh dresses. An abundance of ruching and frills kept everything feminine, and the structure of the functional trench could be seen in the waist-cinching belts and emphasis on the shoulders. With the palest shades of beige, pink and green, Christopher Bailey looked to create a fresh and incredibly chic take on summer dressing.
Vivienne Westwood once again packed in the crowds, showing at the Red Bull fashion factory, an old post office sorting depot near Oxford Street. A collection based on the beauty of Britain, s/s ’10 is classic Westwood: plenty of draping, asymmetric lines, florals, plaid and stripes, pirate boots and of course, touches of the off-beat with cropped tops turned into face masks and toy frogs as accessories. In fact Westwood perfectly summarizes the spirit of London’s s/s ’10 collections: heritage meets youthful positivity, individualism and glamour with a rebellious edge. As far as 25th anniversary celebrations go, this was definitely one to remember.