Ever the stage for trendsetting and aesthetic exploration, London Fashion Week has yielded a mixed bag of sartorial statements for spring/summer ’12. From pastels and metallics to pleats and flowing hemlines, the collections have presented a more temperate wardrobe that’s both graceful and polished.
As seen in PPQ and Paul Costelloe, pastels are very much present in s/s ’12. And yet, it’s the sumptuous prints and metallic fabrics that have captured everyone’s attention. Daniela and Annette Felder, the sisters behind label Felder Felder, opted for a kaleidoscope of black, charcoal and mint green on sheer fabrics, whereas designers Caroline Charles and Clements Ribeiro chose tight floral and paisley prints for summer dresses. The season’s prints are complemented by shimmering metallics, as seen at both Felder Felder and Sass Bide, where pastel metallic leather was used in block skirts and dresses. Clements Ribeiro and Julien MacDonald played with this trend in smaller details like leather chain belts, stenciled hemlines and sequined embroideries.
Delving into the fabrics, soft pleats were a prominent element trending at the start of London Fashion Week. At Henry Holland, Orla Kiely and Emilia Wickstead, collections featured flirty frocks with school girl pleats in unique patterns. Daks designer Sheila McKain-Waid added delicate folds and darts to accentuate slim waistlines, most notably in her one-piece halter pant suit in crisp white. And at Jasper Conran and Ann-Sofie Back, front pleats were applied to pant legs to elongate the light suit trouser.
In addition to these prints and pleats, long and draping silhouettes have also been a particular highlight this season. Jean-Pierre Braganza created asymmetric shift dresses in graphic silks with sharp lined prints reminiscent of cubism. Evening dresses were gathered in various parts, creating elegant streams of fabric from shoulders to waist to hips. Maria Grachvogel’s lengthy, lime and taupe dresses moved from a one-strap shoulder to a flowing sleeve, whereas Jena Theo’s two-piece kaftan and pant look was shown tucked in at the hips then plunging downwards.