Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Day two at London Fashion Week – A/W 2013

So this is way late – for some reason, life continues apace in Ireland while the fashion world is off on its jolliers in London – but you’ll have to forgive me. (Did you win a prize? Perhaps that will …

Mon, Feb 18, 2013, 18:43


So this is way late – for some reason, life continues apace in Ireland while the fashion world is off on its jolliers in London – but you’ll have to forgive me. (Did you win a prize? Perhaps that will ease the pain.) The good news from day two at London Fashion Week (Saturday) is that colour began to make an appearance, starting with those multicoloured knits at Sister by Sibling (seen on the lovely Cara, above) and moving on to, well, everywhere else.

The Orla Kiely installation reminded me slightly – only slightly, mind – of 9 to 5, the Dolly Parton musical that recently showed at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre. Girls in prim pastels, knitted jumpers and textured and patterned jackets tapped away at vintage typewriters for the assembled press and buyers. It was a cute touch, but perhaps too Orla Kiely for even Orla Kiely. (I do also worry about glamorising these vintage scenes; they may look nice, but they’re emblematic of a time of sexism and distinctly un-equal opportunities.)

At the Moschino Cheap & Chic show, at London Fashion Week for the second season, it was a case of pretty in punky pink, with pastel pinks juxtaposed against hot pink silks and knit biker jackets. A bit like Grease mixed with Pretty in Pink itself. The monochrome story was interesting to see, leading on from S/S – will we be able to double-duty our black’n'whites from this season to next? Here’s hoping.

The biggest surprise of all, perhaps, came from John Rocha, the man who, for several seasons now, has stuck more or less rigidly to a palette of black and white. For A/W 2013, we saw brights making their way into a collection that was just sublime – knits looked as if they had been spider-spun, while cocoon-shaped coats and textured dresses rounded out a collection of very covetable pieces.

At House of Holland, you know never to expect, well, anything – Henry Holland doesn’t seem to adhere to any particular design aesthetic, and he seems not to follow trends in the same way we see other designers toe the trend line. That sounds like a compliment, but perhaps not; though Holland broke his own mould, there was a strong feeling of deja vu from his A/W collection. Those belted coats, for example, were very Burberry; Peter Pilotto was a strong influencer of those bright prints; knitted embellished jumpers have been seriously overdone by Markus Lupfer, to name but one. Wearable? Certainly – but there wasn’t much to get excited about.

Spot anything you like? Check back, oh, in a few hours for the day three (Sunday) roundup, which will mostly consist of drooling over the Mulberry poodle.

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