17 February 2020
1. Anya Hindmarch's bags for life
In lieu of a scheduled show this year, Anya Hindmarch closed her boutiques for three days during London Fashion Week and filled them with used plastic bottles, to raise awareness of the dangers of throwaway synthetics. The installation coincides with the launch of Hindmarch's new eco-friendly 'I Am A Plastic Bag' tote, made from recycled plastic bottles. These are melted down to form a yarn, which is then meticulously woven to create a cotton-canvas-like material and finished with an innovative recycled plastic coating, which took more than two years to develop.
The trendsetting new tote follows Hindmarch's seminal 2007 collection, 'I'm Not A Plastic Bag', which sold out worldwide at the time and was at the forefront of the 'bag for life' movement. Typical of Hindmarch's collections, creativity and craftsmanship is underpinned by her uniquely British wit.
2. Lena Dunham's debut at 16Arlington
Lena Dunham made her London Fashion Week debut on the 16Arlington runway. The London-based label, founded by Marco Capaldo and Kikka Cavenati, is best known for its feather-trimmed jeans that have been doing the rounds on Instagram. The label takes its name from the London address where the Italian-born designers were living when they thought up the brand, which couples laidback shapes with dancefloor-ready sequins and theatrical embellishment.
3. Shrimps' colourful tribute to The Queen
A pregnant Hannah Weiland presented a new Shrimps collection at a Grade I listed Georgian Townhouse in St James's. Dramatic mutton sleeves, Scottish tartans and Balmoral-ready faux furs paid tribute to Her Majesty The Queen and the monarch's brightly coloured, quintessentially British wardrobe. Shrimps also introduced an innovative new faux sheepskin in royal blue, made from recycled materials. Playfully regal accessories punctuated the show, from sustainably sourced woollen balaclavas and oversized pussy-bows to glossy satin gloves and, of course, a new bounty of top handled beaded bags.
4. Molly Goddard's tulle confections, layered over Fair Isle knits
For Molly Goddard's autumn/winter 2020 show at Central Hall Westminster, guests were arranged around dining tables, set with bottles of white wine and small dishes of bread and salted butter. The audience thus became part of the set, while Storm Dennis raged outside. A nineties photograph of her toddler self and her father on Portobello Road was the impetus for Goddard's new collection, which styled the designer's trademark clouds of frothy tulle with cosy Fair Isle knit cardigans and beanie hats topped with taffeta bows. Goddard also presented menswear for the first time in the form of retro-infused checked suiting with an air of Jarvis Cocker-esque Britpop swagger.
5. Victoria Beckham's new hemlines and leather boots
Team Beckham was out in force on the front row to support mum Victoria's autumn/winter 2020 collection, presented at a banquet hall opposite 10 Downing Street. Her new knee-length tweed skirts were met by sleek thigh-high leather boots for a trendsetting look that was both minimalist and statement-making. There were also velvet blazers and wistful fluid silk dresses, inspired by Richard Avedon’s dynamic 1960s portraits and iconic imagery of Marisa Berenson, the granddaughter of legendary Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli and muse of Yves Saint Laurent during the 1970s.
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6. Halpern's good-time glamour
Halpern's buoyant bubble dresses and sequin super-flares are an instant mood booster, presented this season in a kaleidoscopic colour palette of shimmering gold, forest green and fuschia pink. The American designer, who has applied for British residency, paid tribute to the British haute hippies and fashion designers who inspire his glamour-suffused collections, including Ossie Clark, Bill Gibb and Zandra Rhodes.
7. JW Anderson's storm-proof outerwear
Lapels large enough to shelter under; ankle-length capes to weather the wind; blanket-stitched, well, blankets with touches of couture – JW Anderson’s latest collection was perfectly pitched as Storm Denis ravaged London Fashion Week. The show opened with tennis player Holly Fischer, who swapped her tennis whites for a black silk balloon-hemmed cocktail gown and soon had her name being whispered between front-rowers such as Billy Porter, Alexa Chung and Ncuti Gatwa. As with last season, Anderson maxed out proportions, particularly in voluminous sleeves and powerful shoulders, but playful fil-coupé, ruffles and fringing kept the spirit of the collection light. It’s an exciting time for JW Anderson: earlier this month, he joined the lineup of designers collaborating with Moncler on its Genius project, and in March his first permanent store opens in Soho.
8. Eftychia's effortless transition from boardroom to business class
A model pouring coffee all over her outfit during a presentation would usually be cause for chaos: but at Eftychia’s AW20 show, it was all part of the plan. The stunt demonstrated the designer’s practical, life-proof approach to womenswear: coffee dripped off the 100% waterproof Ventile fabric, which was turned into A-line skirts and trench coats alike. That’s not to say function superseded form: Eftychia’s signature fluid silhouettes and heritage-inspired tailoring was as irresistible as ever, set against an airport setting (a change from last season's boardroom tableau) in which she called upon the idea of ‘passengers observing and being observed’. Read more about why Eftychia Karamolegkou is the name to know for AW20.
9. Comme des Garçons reinvents the pearl with Mikimoto
Landing in London during Fashion Week, Comme des Garçons' new fine jewellery collection with Mikimoto is now available to buy at Dover Street Market. The collaboration pairs the iridescent gem with chunky silver and CdG charms, priced from £2,500 to £30,000. These new necklaces mark the first chapter in a two-year partnership between the two Japanese brands. Proof, if further proof were needed, that the pearl is officially cool again. Read more here.