Hey Crazy, the title awarded to Louise Gray’s AW13 collection, and no doubt at least one person’s reaction to the toilet roll brooches and rings that made their way down the catwalk. From the off carrier bags formed hats-a collab with milliner Stephen Jones-and tin foil doubled up as earrings; bath plugs later did the same while the cellotape family smothered wrists in the form of bracelets, who hasn’t done that before?
The clothes themselves were patterned, striped and motifed. White shirts, grey sweatshirts and appliqued black dresses all walked the runway, while the aforementioned loo roll brooch was pinned to an exotic flavoured heavy coat of yellow, orange and black. There were sequin party dresses, silver foil skirts and some very nice ‘normal’ striped knits.
A former member of the Fashion East club, Gray was followed by the initiative’s new breed, kicked off by Claire Barrow. Her second season under the umbrella, for Autumn Winter Barrow upped the ante showcasing a new string to her bow, shedding (almost) her painted leathers. Fish, bowling balls, watering cans and branches were carried by the guys and gals who took a turn on the floor, dressed in suave corduroy jackets, velvet dresses and a stunning black leather coat. Dolly’s were another prop, carried by the bride and her groom.
Ryan Lo was up next, lifting the dark mood left by Claire, swapping Iggy Pop for Blondie, and her dark shades for bubblegum pink. Playing with all the things we favoured as kids, fabrics took the form of fluffy fake fur and netting, shapes replicated nighties and dressing gowns, while in the world where this is our dressing up box, the silver and gold sparkly pieces were our mother’s vintage cast offs. Playful but wearable, this collection echoed the past while offering a possibility for the future.
Lastly Ashley Williams, the newest edition to Lulu Kennedy’s line-up and responsible for this season’s Elvis tinted invites. The Presley theme continued throughout the collection, his image adorning dresses-in purple and green worn with a yellow fluffy collar-and scrapbooked across trousers. An updated version of the Happy Ashley print created for her BA show last year appeared, likewise she continued her work with knits, creating legwarmers to match. Clutch bags were camouflaged as kids cuddly toys, while a ‘subscribe’ print dress came with its own mini me.
And so to Burberry Prorsum, at which half way through doors were slid open and Tom Odell performed live, making seats rumble and many a heart swoon. Edie Campbell opened and closed the show, Jourdan Dunn, Cara Delevingne and Lara Mullen doing the honours in-between. The usual Burberry cards were played (read: numerous trench coats in a hundred different colours, fabrics and patterns), while the love heart was the choice motif, appearing across shirts, dresses and in metal form on evening frocks. Rubber replaced foil as the token fabric, a white jacket variation leaving Clash with O shaped lips.
Hair was gelled poker straight at J.W. Anderson’s 8 o’clock slot, while feet were bound in clean white leather elasticated flats. Colours-grey, black, red and white-were for the most part blocked, with details such as hospital gown style back ties, high necks and gathers. Boob tube style tops seen in his menswear collection were again noted but in fur, and the fabric was repeated in tunic styles tops paired with waterproof trousers. In many designs seams were almost ‘missed’, creating asymmetric lines that made for a new Anderson silhouette.
A strong day for design, that was Monday.