LFW: Christopher Kane, Mulberry, Topshop Unique and Jonathan Saunders

STY_Mulbery_17
Mulberry Spring 2014

12 p.m. Mulberry

It’s a melee outside Claridge’s hotel, as the paparazzi, street-style photographers and editors all clamor toward the entrance of the Mulberry show to witness creative director Emma Hill’s last hurrah for the label. Once inside, the ballroom itself is equally frenetic, but the British garden tea party theme (cakes and all!) makes it palatable. The whole scene is grandiose, from the celeb attendees  — such as “It” girl Alexa Chung and Anna Wintour  — to the flower-framed catwalk. A quintessentially English theme runs through the ’60s-inspired collection, with Cara Delevingne opening in an oversized floral jacquard coat and shorts. Breeziness continues with wide-leg cropped trousers, shifts and striped knee and ankle-length skirts in nude, florals and blues. Richard Peckett

Topshop Unique 2014
Topshop Unique 2014

3:10 p.m.
Topshop Unique preshow

Kate Moss just took her front-row seat next to Topshop owner Philip Green and Wintour, effectively reducing the editor sitting next to me to an aggressive paparazzo. “Are you Instagramming this?” she asks her assistant, sitting behind us. But that looks unlikely, as the trifecta is already shielded by a wall of DSLRs, iPhones and Samsungs. Kenya Hunt

3:20 p.m. Topshop Unique

Between all the leggy skirts and back-revealing dresses I’ve seen so far, it’s hard to tell which body part will get the most play come spring. Both ideas feature prominently in the Topshop show — from the opening look (a cute forest green jacket, graphic blouse and matching flouncy mini) to all the backless slip dresses that pepper the show. There’s a relaxed airiness to the clothes that make them much better suited for days in the park (a point driven home by the grassy runway) than eight hours in the office. But the simple, low-maintenance shapes are deceptive: Those baggy trousers casually hang low in a way that demands a jutting hip bone to keep them up, while the tiniest of spaghetti straps barely do their jobs in keeping the models’ breasts covered. I’m not sure how anyone who doesn’t come in model size can pull off these looks. The graphic shirtdresses and jumpsuits, however, look much easier for the average Topshop consumer to wear. KH

Jonathan Saunders Spring 2014
Jonathan Saunders Spring 2014

8:30 p.m.
Jonathan Saunders

Jonathan Saunders’ set at the Tate Britain is a one-finger salute to unvarying tradition, with giant light orbs overhanging the runway, which leads to a psychedelic sunset screen. We’re in the summer of love, as seen through Saunders’ eyes. It’s a laid-back vibe: His girls are too tripped out to care about formality, flaunting slouchy satin shorts, track pants, Western-inspired shirts and bomber jackets teamed with circular “Natural Born Killers”-style sunglasses. Dressier pieces include flower prints bursting out like a potent LSD hit onto organza shirts and spaghetti-style mini-dresses. It’s euphoria for buyers and editors alike. RP

Christopher Kane: London Fashion Week SS14
Christoper Kane Spring 2014

MONDAY

10:45 a.m. Christopher Kane

About an hour before Christopher Kane’s show, I received a press release announcing that he’ll be opening his first store in London next year. That’s no doubt due to a significant investment he received from the luxury conglomerate Kering earlier this month. And tellingly, this collection reveals a new sense of maturity, commercialism and polish. As I watch the show unfold, I can see the merchandising at play. But impressively, Kane doesn’t sacrifice the creativity that has made his show one of the week’s biggest tickets. Note the way he balances the wearability of a beautifully tailored black suit with the directional quality of those plastic, futuristic appliques decorating both. Other pieces are a bit more visionary, such as a series of futuristic dresses and skirt suits that look like they’ve been sprayed with metallic color. They are as memorable to this collection as his neon laser-cut lace, graphic camouflage and leather crochet moments from seasons past. KH

 



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