Oh Daks woman I want to be you. You, to me, are perfect. I will never be you. This season designer Sheila Mckain-Waid brings us what we’ve all been gasping for… 1920s. I for one am just so thankful that fashion seems to be taking a turn for the elegant and is beginning to draw inspiration from pre-50s decades – we’ve got Downton Abbey and Mad Men to thank for that at least in part. It was the cocoon coats that got me excited in this collection; as far as I’m concerned they’re the height of winter glamour. As expected a gentle and reserved colour scheme was punctuation with the house check and a rather wonderful dark terracotta red. Pleats are staying, as is laser cutting and three quarter length pencil skirts which manage to be incredibly sexy and incredibly modest at the same time. Another standout piece was an all-black ‘vicars’ coat with floor-length tails. Very well deserving of that royal warrant.
J. JS Lee. I know that this collection is great but it’s just not for me. It’s just too bland for my taste. Monochrome, primrose yellow, horizontal pleats at the knee and a great skirt that stood out from the hip. I really like the Embankment Show Space. What I do like is that because this collection is so plain, it makes the small but unique touches, like those described above, really stand out as features. I think J. JS Lee is a wonderful designer but I have difficulty writing about it with any passion because it’s so far removed from my own aesthetic. I’d love to be cool enough for these kinds of designs, but I’m just not.
John Rocha has great hair doesn’t he? And I love his face. I bet he’s a really nice guy. Anyway, the collection. Hmmm… maybe I’m just hitting my first fashion wall at this point but I’ve run out of adjectives. It was nice. Will that do? Obviously not. Ok, I’ll keep it short. Those metallic, ruched macs were bloody cool. I want one. The rest felt a little recycled to me, but it may well just be my perspective at this point. I still think he’s got the best hair in the biz.
Another great collection full of those trademark razorsharp angles and tailoring details from Todd Lynn. I really loved the two shades of metallic bronze; one dark and warm, the other with green tones that harkened back to the 20s and 30s. Lots of leather, a bit of fur – there’s a lot of that about, the debates going to kick off again soon – diagonal pleats, twinkling gold piping and a continuation of the wide-legged trouser. That dark terracotta was present in this collection too, sell against a viberant teal. The Todd Lynn woman continues to kick arse. Actually, I don’t think she has to, because I don’t think anyone would mess with her. I want to meet Todd Lynn. I quite fancy him. I like the way his eyes go down at the corners like they’re a bit sad. He’d make me cool. Is he gay or married or anything boring like that? Do you think he likes comic book action heroines? I think he does.
I took my friend to the Antipodium show. He’s a brain scientist from Cambridge and has never been to a fashion show before, so I thought it would be fun to let him do the review… He liked the shoes and said he was a bit shocked – I’d say more delighted – that you could see the model’s breasts through their clothes. So there you go. Pretty good review I’d say, but I will just flesh it out a bit because I really like Antipodium, and I’m pleased to say they seem to have upped their game since last season. It was certainly a bigger show. Plastic sporty jackets, pencil skirts, powder blue and olive green caught my eye, especially a lovely green 40sish belted two piece. Not mad about the bright green leather skirt or the use of fur in this collection, it seemed slightly dislocated, but then I don’t like disorder so, as always, it’s a subjective thing because this designer’s clearly on the rise.
And with that we decamped to Soho for cocktails where we discussed the opposite of fashion… neuroscience.
Vanessa Austin Locke