The Seymour Leisure Centre in Marylebone was the chosen space for the Julien Macdonald SS17 presentation which was a strikingly different venue to the gothic architecture of No 1 Mayfair where his previous collection had been showcased. From the frenzy of paparazzi flash bulbs outside to the pumping soundtrack echoing around the vast space inside, the anticipation of the show was palpable as guests, bloggers, photographers and camera crews all jostled for position to get the best view of Julien’s collection. The champagne flowed and the beats became more thunderous and then the lights went up, transforming an ordinary sports hall into a super cool, modern runway, perfect for the juxtaposition of high glamour meets reptilian muse.Opening the show was Hailey Baldwin who looked unbelievably stunning in a heavily embellished jacket which was part Barbarella part Prince twinned with tiny sequinned hotpants. Her bronzed muscular body made its way down the runway with complete confidence and a touch of sass, her look completed with smokey eyes and grungy wet look hair. The presentation seemed to be a continuation of his decadent autumn/winter collection (which I adored) as signature knitwear dresses were reimagined in new tones of luxurious gold and silver using Haute Couture techniques, teamed with ombre metallic fringing creating an animalistic second skin. Inspired by the solitary landscapes of the African plains and tribes of the Masai Mara, this collection encapsulated an almost earthy feel as Snakeskin created an Afro-Chic aesthetic through the use of three dimensional Swarovski embroidery on dusky pink tones. As with previous collections Julien’s attention to detail and incredible skill produced beautifully intricate pieces that were still highly wearable. One of my favourite looks was a fringed metallic midi dress with cut out sections at the waist that created movement as his model sashayed down the runway. Yet again I loved this collection partly due to the theatrical nature of the presentation. The actress in me completely appreciates Julien’s desire to ‘put on a show’ for his audience and guests and this was another that certainly didn’t disappoint! I can’t wait to see his designs making their way onto their rightful place of the red carpet over the next few months
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.