Australian design duo Ralph & Russo showcased their debut Ready To Wear collection at this seasons London Fashion Week to a 400 strong audience who were enraptured from the off. Renowned for its intricate couture collections, the luxury label incorporated its flair for floor length gowns alongside metallic denim cocktail creations and sheer evening wear.
Held on Day 2 of SS17 London Fashion Week presentations, this was a collection I was very much looking forward to. I really love Conrans tailoring and his nod to various fashion eras. I felt his autumn/winter collection had a real 60’s feel with its geometric prints and block heeled boots, however spring/summer had an air of 1950’s riviera chic about it encapsulating beautiful full skirts in delicate organza with exquisite embroidery. It was incredibly romantic. The show opened however with slightly darker tones for Spring/Summer of khaki, navy and forest brown and had an altogether more utilitarian feel. Shirt dresses featured eyelet fastenings, D ring belts, and sleek waist purses and cross body bags. The lines were simple and sophisticated and ‘formed for summer streets’ as highlighted in the editors notes. Keeping the tailored silhouettes the collection moved into fresher tones incorportating white, tomato and lime combined with graphic checks and deckchair stripes. As each model walked the runway the progression of the collection was extremely effective as you could see how patterns had been combined to create a new version of Jaspers theme, making for a very coherent showcase. Pencil skirts became full, whilst bodices remained the same, then full skirts eventually became dreamy organza dresses in soft hues of powder blue and peach adorned with beautiful embroidered leaves, birds and flowers. It really was a beautiful, sophisticated collection that oozed experience and master craftsmanship. I loved it!
Held at the Brewer St Carpark, Williams gave an immediate introduction to the tone of her latest collection which in the editors notes had been inspired by her love of late teen heartthrob River Phoenix Set in a late 80’s early 90’s girls bedroom, complete with madonnas bedtime stories cd, tv with built in video player (ah the days before on demand) giant teddybears, candy coloured balloons and the theme tune from Jurassic Park on loop, I was instantly transported to more care free days when the closest you could get to your idol was via a poster from Just Seventeen or Sugar magazine. Sweatshirts, T-shirts, dungarees and billowing sleeves made their way down the runway adorned with waist cinching belts complete with classic diamante buckles. This was a collection that harked back to the late 20th century as Williams tailoring incorporated charcoal grey box suits and grandma floral prints combined with crystal accessories and wrap around silver shades worth of any laser quest battle. It seemed to be a celebration of her adolescence with many details such as the crystal hair slides worn by many of the models evoking a strong feeling of nostalgia. It was an eclectic collection that left me feeling excited that a new generation would be coveting the classic 'Saved by the Bell’ Kelly Kapowski sweatshirt and Zak Morris baseball jacket and thinking of a time when I used to wish that Macualy Culkin was my boyfriend.
Fresh from winning the international Woolmark prize Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones created a fabulous collection to the soundtrack of Scotland's human stories. Staying true to the labels ethos of being driven by human narrative the designs were inspired by Scotland's Rennie Mackintosh's early 20th century romantic watercolour paintings of botanic flowers and landscapes combined with late 20th century Glaswegian house ravers whose laser lights created excessive visual geometry. The collection was a vibrant mix of delicate floral satins and toughened paint splattered canvases with geometric jaquard in between. I really loved the collection and I felt that the duo who are often referred to as 'method designers’ completely encaspulated all of the elements they had been inspired by. My favourite piece was this gorgeous structured dress with its leather bust and waist detail in the strong geometric jacquard I mentioned earlier. I liked the the collection was wearable whilst still allowing the designers to showcase their artistry.