At the Topshop Show Space, the hottest new venue of London Fashion Week, three well established rising stars, Maarten van der Horst, Marques’Almeida and James Long presented their A/W 12 collections, courtesy of fashion’s fairy godmother, Lulu Kennedy of Fashion East.
First up was Maarten van der Horst, with a colour palette of sky blue, white, a touch of black and bright pink this was a beautiful collection. Blue and white striped men’s shirts were seen with pretty rose printed satin bustiers on top, notions of pyjama parties conjured by such combinations of pattern. This floral design extended to cigarette pants, long blazers and shirts, all in satin, an extension of his S/S 12 collection. Designs were influenced by men’s classic tailoring, a tuxedo playsuit, dress and tuxedo-style blazer given femininity by choice of soft fabric and pretty colouring. High-waist knickers were worn in the variety of prints, be it stripe, rose or indeed plain baby pink or blue, twinned with over-sized shirts or a blazer again provided a dainty girlishness to otherwise masculine elements.
Man meets woman at Maarten Van Der Horst AW 12
Pretty layering evokes a look of nightwear
As was proven last season, Marques’Almeida has a way of rejuvenating the use of denim, and this was again shown for A/W 12. Designs had a definite grunge vibe to them, pieces being ripped and frayed in an electric combination of black and toxic green, ultra-light bleached pieces to also feature. Chunky blocked clogs in white, green and black encased socked feet as girls complete with dark circles and wet hair stomped down the runway, as if they had pulled an all-nighter. Designs were over-sized and rigid, but sheer chiffon and fluffy knitted sweaters provided a much-needed softness, these sloppy-Joe creations, complete with floppy beanies and rucksacks evoking the look of the 90s’ Kurt Cobain-esque student. This collection held an edgy rawness that has fast become the trademark of the design duo.
Edgy grunge at Marques’Almeida AW 12
Softness is created with knitwear and lighter shades
Third to show was James long, the menswear star who has now well established himself as a women’s designer. With inspiration drawn from Russian architecture, this collection was nothing less than decadent, yet still remained very wearable. Designs boasted zigzag and chevron shaped bands, tassels flowing freely to form skirts and embellishment on sleeves of jackets. Craftily knitted dresses, skirts and jumpers were presented, alongside fabulous quilted black leather, a colour palette of golden greens and luxurious reddy pinks forming the collection. Slim trousers and a fitted skirt were formed from velvet, in rich and warm shades, bestowed with the geometric patterns, they added even more extravagance. This was heightened further still by the use of a pinkish lame which came in the shape of a long smart coat, t-shirt and both pencil and full skirts. Vast and rich fabrics make way for a lavish autumn ahead.
Russian inspired designs in golden green at James Long AW 12
A decadent and eclectic mix of fabrics