London Fashion Week AW14/15 Series: J.W. Anderson

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J.W.Anderson-Dazed-AW14

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JWAnderson-AW1415-DazedA ‘modern 20s romance’  summed up the AW14 collection from J.W. Anderson.  Long skirts, tall funnel necks, boxy, square-cut tops, trapeze coats and tunics-over-trousers in lush fabrications – everything was elongated and sculptural in this line inspired by artist Dame Barbara Hepworth.  The question of ‘romance’ in such a collection is probably best answered by blogger Susie Bubble.  In an article for Dazed Digital she wrote about Anderson’s exploration into the ‘avant-bland’ and the sensuality that can be found in androgyny:

“Anderson plays with gender archetypes as though he’s setting himself a dare.  Never mind gender bending, he’s increasingly speeding up on an ongoing gender swerve, playing with levels of masculinity and femininity in both his menswear and womenswear as though they were adjustable dials on a turntable. What’s interesting though is how appealing Anderson’s apparently ‘sexless’ clothes are to women.  Very feminine women at that, judging from the number of J.W. Anderson pieces seen on editors on the streets of New York and now London.

Anderson is by no means the first to reject the lines, silhouettes, colours and motifs which ‘flatter’ women and play up to their femininity.  However, he is resolutely steadfast in his approach towards ensuring women have the choice to wear jutting out shapes oddly placed around the neck, skirts that are layered and proportioned unexpectedly and shirts that have windswept bows splaying at the waist.  The cleverness of Anderson’s designs, which has aided his ascent, is that what is supposedly sexless becomes the very opposite.  Sexy, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Susie Bubble for Dazed Magazine.

Back to the show, Anderson presented a severe love-story:

“It was about twisting and rooting a woman from the ground up. I wanted it to feel a bit disturbed. I like the idea of shriveled arm – something that might appear to be like roots. I think that’s why I was looking at corduroy and the ways in which I could elevate it so it didn’t feel poor. We cut it on the bias, we bonded it, we fused it and we tried to make it a little bit more suspended.

The initial starting point was actually a picture by Graham Sutherland. I thought, what would it be like if this contorted figure was actually something. I spoke to someone about the twenties and thought about how the twenties hadn’t really been tackled. Then I thought about corduroy and how I hated it. How I could get all those things together to be a woman.” – J.W.Anderson, Dazed Magazine.

Photos: Dazed Digital.

London Fashion Week Favourites RTW SS14

Peter Pilotto RTW SS14 London Fashion Week

Preen RTW SS14 London Fashion Week

Tom Ford Women RTW SS14 London Fashion Week

Burberry Prorsum SS14 RTW London Fashion WeekHot on the heels of New York Fashion Week comes London Fashion Week.  Yes, less than 24 hours after New York closes its runway, London fires up theirs.  New York is often seen as more commercial, London perhaps more inspirational – I feel the differences in the two Fashion Weeks are best summed up by Faran Krentcil (then director of Nylon magazine) in her interview in NYmag a few years back. She explained:

“New York is all about selling clothes to real girls and London is all about making clothes for fantasy balls. In New York, the big aim, even for the very conceptual shows like Alexander Wang is to make clothes that everyone wants to buy and wear and make emblematic of who they are in their actual, everyday lives.  And in London, part of what’s happening on the runway is part of this dream world — girls from space or girls from heaven. … It’s more about creating these fantasies and seeing whether that can trickle down into real life.  Whereas in New York, it’s about, this is what you want to look like now and you’ll only look that way if you buy our clothes.”

This summer, silhouettes on the London catwalks appear more exaggerated and colours and textures bolder than those seen in NYC. Here I want to present some of my favourite collections, beginning of course with Preen (second image) whose SS14 Ready To Wear collection featured art deco colours, clean lines, patchwork prints and asymmetry.  I’ve never met a Preen dress I didn’t like and this looks set to continue into next year.

Tom Ford, image three in this post, was a stand out collection.  Vogue said of Ford’s SS14 womenswear:

“He gave it to them, in full force—a wardrobe for making killer entrances and exits, for women to whom easy dressing is a term for wimps.”

Not exactly a wearable collection overall but an undoubtedly powerful aesthetic.  One just has to admire Tom Ford for being so very high fashion.

Peter Pilotto is always one to watch in my book.  Last year Pilotto gave us vibrant, mixed prints, peplums and embellishment for SS13.  This year multihued, complex patterns and what Vogue termed ‘trapezoid’ dresses framed over under-structures danced down the runway. I did like these dress lengths and shapes.

Finally, at Burberry Prorsum (final image) romantic pastels and slimline silhouettes graced the catwalk.  Lace and embroidery made for interesting textures –  accompanied with some sheer to add that extra flirtatious oomph to an otherwise graceful collection.

So there we have it – my favourites from London Fashion Week!

StyleOnTheCouch xo

London Fashion Week Hair Trends

Hair Trends Fashion Week Antonio Beradi

In another of my series of hair posts on StyleOnTheCouch, I’m focussing on some of the hair trends spotted at London Fashion Week.  I asked Sassoon Salons - who I’ve collaborated with before on the blog here and here and who styled hair for designer Edeline Lee’s autumn winter 13 presentation – to offer their thoughts on how to re-create key looks at home. I own some of the products Sassoon mention below because I love how well they work with my hair.  Their Diamond Polish is one I often recommend to friends to protect hair from heat damage when using straightening or curling irons.  Taking advice from Sassoon about products and styling has improved the condition of my hair – I hope you’ll try some of these styles at home, Blog Reader!

Designer: Antonio Berardi

“There is a chicness and ease to a Berardi girl”, says Sassoon UK Creative Director, Bruce Masefield.  “The look has a 90s feel, think flat, centre parted, tucked behind ears, but with a super glossy finish. Use a cherry-sized amount of Sassoon Professional Diamond Polish along your fingers before using them to smooth partings and tuck hair away”.

The finished look is minimal, but perfectly sleek.

Hair Trends at London Fashion Week StyleOnTheCouch Holly Fulton

Hair Trends London Fashion Week Sass & Bide StyleOnTheCouch

Designers: Holly Fulton and Sass & Bide

“A textured up-do can be elegant, loose and effortless”, says Bruce.  “To create a messy twisted bun with maximum texture and movement the key is not to over think the look; the hair should have the feeling of delicate femininity”.

Get the look:

Pull hair up into a high, disheveled ponytail. Then wrap hair around into a bun a pin into place. Sections on top can be teased out and wispy flyway’s will create a dewy, romantic look.

Hair Trends London Fashion Week Sass & Bide StyleOnTheCouch

Designer: Felder Felder

“There is a flirty, feminine feel to a Felder Felder girl.  A natural, disheveled mane combines 90s grunge and understated chic. The key is to have healthy glossy hair, with a lived-in feel. A leave-in conditioner, such as Sassoon Professional Halo Hydrate will retain some sleekness and prevent hair from becoming frizzy.”

Hair Trends London Fashion Week Edeline Lee Sassoon Salons StyleOntheCouch

Designer: Edeline Lee

“To complement the sophisticated silhouettes of the collection, clean, structured plaits were crafted and carefully woven around the head and pinned into place to create an architectural, military look.”

Get the look:

Hair was prepped using a combination of Sassoon Professional Heat Shape and Halo Hydrate to protect the hair. Wella SP Elegant Shape Mousse is used to support and hold the plaits once they have been created and pinned in place.

Images: Vogue UK

Thank you to Sassoon UK Creative Director, Bruce Masefield for his advice in this post!  Click here for more information on Sassoon Salons.  Do let me know if you try out any of the styles featured here!  I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend…. StyleOnTheCouch xo