From the moment I arrived at the first event space today, I was self-conscious about my outfit. There is no one “look” for London Fashion Week, or if there is, it’s eclectic. With seasoned fashion editors, subdued department store buyers, “it” girls, celebs, photographers, PR people, and trendsetters from indie publications all in attendance, how could it not be? I wasn’t happy with my look for the day. I’d chosen my purple Marc Jacobs sweater and a long brown skirt with the frayed seams. Presentable. I added my amethyst ring and earrings. I could be eclectic. But then I put on my brown suede Rocket Dog sneaker/Mary Jane hybrid shoes. After my first two days of Fashion Week in heels, my toes were (and still are) crying out in pain, so in a moment of toe-tenderness, I reached out and grabbed my Rocket Dogs, which I absolutely love, but they are very, very casual. What was I thinking?
Georgina Harley-Smith’s show began in complete darkness (thankfully) with a slow, jazzy cover of “The Season of the Witch.” It was the perfect choice for Harley-Smith’s Autumn/Winter 2008 collection. The first look on the runway was a slinky black hooded dress and the witch-y vibe continued throughout the show. Fabrics were velvet, silk, lace and leather, as well as a sheer black chiffon with velvet polka dots. Naturally, black was the dominant color but moss green and deep plum were also key players. Some of the outfits were a tad dramatic, but all in all, they’re very wearable. I loved the long “sexy in a 1970s kind of way” dresses with the billowy-cuffed sleeves.
I had a little time to kill before my next show, so I weighed my options. Should I grab lunch somewhere? Fashion Week usually doesn’t leave much time for eating—and somehow watching those stick thin models can dampen any appetite! I glanced down at my unfortunate footwear choice and decided that today, fashion trumped food. I hit Clarks, a shoe brand I knew specialized in comfort. Aaaah … relief. My new shoes are moderately chunky, modest two-inch coppery brown heels with a square toe, a diagonal strap over the arch, and a nice cushy insole. Not exactly sizzling hot style, but they weren’t too casual, and that they matched my outfit.
Next show on my list was Krystof Strozyna. This was the first time showing at London Fashion Week for the twenty-five-year-old Polish wunderkind. He sent the first twenty models down the runway wearing all white: cleanly designed dresses and separates in stiff white cotton, some with chunky chrome details. Some of the shapes were a bit mod and some of the sleeves were mega-wide! Later in the show, Strozyna introduced two more colors—hot pink and black. This was helpful to “standing room only” folks like me, as the darker colors made it easier to see some of the design details like the cutouts and visible zips. Throughout the show, models were accessorized with oversized plastic bracelets and shoulder cuffs that complimented the looks beautifully.
Directly after Strozyna, I saw the Autumn/Winter 2008 collection from Meadham Kirchoff, which was Yin to Stroyzna’s Yang. Another design duo, this one is formed by Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchoff, their collection was soft and ultra femme with some funky touches at the end. Luxurious fabrics were abundant and even from where I stood, I could tell those flowing silk skirts and loosely knitted sweater dresses were scrumptious. The palate consisted of muted colors like light browns, grays, and soft indigo blues. Things got less romantic—and more interesting—toward the end. I quite loved a dramatic high-waisted skirt—so high it started just under the bust. The collection ended with a selection of flesh-colored tops, with fabric strips that definitely resembled electrical tape, strategically placed for the wearer’s modesty.
My final show today was Aslanturk, by Turkish Cypriot designer Mustafa Aslanturk. I was awestruck from the very beginning. Primarily consisting of dresses, the collection was extremely detailed and featured such things as sculptural draping, pointy shoulders, visible stitching, bold metal zips, and other chrome ornamentation. Among my favorite looks was a metallic PVC dress with sleeves that look like they could be attached to your coziest, most comfortable sweater. This was a fabulous combination of nature and technology. His leather pieces brought body armor to mind and upped the attitude factor.
The grand finale consisted of clear PVC “cocoon shapes” over body suits close to the models’ skin tones. The PVC was marked with black lines, detailing the contours of the woman’s body. The third model to come out in the clear PVC was also wearing an elaborate headpiece that resembled the wing of one of the world’s first airplanes. After a walk down the runway, she returned to the top of the catwalk and stood on a slowly revolving platform as the other models took their final walk. The theatricality of both the show and the clothing was absolutely sensational and I wouldn’t be surprised if, in a few years, the name Aslanturk is up there with McQueen and Gaultier.
Day three down. I’m off for a nice hot shower and a good dinner.