“London Fashion Week did not disappoint,” says Jay Bell, our newly appointed EVP/GMM of Women’s, who traveled this season with Barneys’ Creative Director, Matthew Mazzucca, and our Associate Editor, Nicole Spellman. The weather in the U.K. was pleasantly bright and sunny, and that disposition was reflected in the collections, which featured bold colors and and ever-expanding creativity. There were both milestones and new beginnings this season, from Victoria Beckham’s celebratory tenth-anniversary collection to Riccardo Tisci’s debut as Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer.

Though the LFW schedule, diligently organized by the British Fashion Council, was busy, there were also a few moments of calm, like the Anya Hindmarch “Chubby Cloud” installation where attendees could relax in between shows. Our favorite British designers also welcomed us to beautiful locations like the National Portrait Gallery for Erdem’s SS19 runway show and then a secret garden oasis for Osman’s SS19 presentation. “This city set the stage and now raises the bar for what we hope to see in Milan and Paris,” notes Bell. Scroll on for more highlights from the team’s memorable week in London.

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HEAD IN THE CLOUDS
To kick off London Fashion Week, designer Anya Hindmarch unveiled an experiential “Chubby Cloud” installation in the beautiful Banqueting House. Industry attendees were invited to relax on the large beanbag structure, which was inspired by the cloud motifs seen in her latest accessory collection. As members of a choir sang, we enjoyed unplugging for a moment to gaze up at the opulent Rubens-painted ceiling. Various events for visitors continued here throughout the week, as did a pop-up café that served happy, rainbow-themed desserts.

 

BECKHAM HOMECOMING
Victoria Beckham returned home to celebrate the tenth anniversary of her brand, and it was also her first time showing in London. Bell loved the collection, which he described as super sexy yet feminine with undertones of masculine bravado. “Knit dresses stood out, as did their handkerchief hems, giving the dresses a smart, sharp edge. Victoria, David, their children, and her loyal clients all turned out to support and gave a ‘family reunion’ vibe to the show. P.S., thank you, Victoria, for the parting gift of a Juergen Teller photo-printed tote—specially created for the anniversary.”

 

BURBERRY MANIA
“Anticipation mounted as we waited to witness Burberry’s next chapter with Riccardo Tisci at the creative helm,” said Bell. “Riccardo subverted codes of the old and new as Burberry’s iconic check morphed effortlessly into a wallpaper stripe. Plus, Bambi references, one of Riccardo’s favored icons from his previous role at Givenchy, were emblazoned on garments, and the irony of this was not lost on Tisci fans. This all made one ponder what is next for him in his new role, and Burberry’s thoughtful reinvention marks a milestone in fashion’s ongoing story. I was beyond thrilled to have witnessed it.”

The excitement for the new era at the heritage brand was definitely in the air as the Burberry Thomas monogram print took over the city. The pattern appeared in store windows, on taxis, and even on a giant bear adjacent to London’s Marble Arch. 

Runway photo: Courtesy of FirstView

 

SOPHISTICATED EASE
After heading backstage for first looks and viewing J.W.Anderson’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, Bell said, “Jonathan Anderson has found a comfortable groove for himself presenting creative, compelling clothes which appeared deceptively simple. The level of ease and sophistication grew increasingly reassuring as the show progressed. And the accessories added that crafty funk for which Anderson is celebrated.”

 

MM6’S EDGE
The MM6 Maison Marigela show was held in a warehouse accented with broken chandeliers, spray-painted walls, and shattered glass. The atmosphere played well into the attitude of the clothes. “MM6 effectively addresses the codes of the maison in a more accessible, immediate way. The tabi influence seen here on the open-toed sandals was smart and interesting. Distressed satin gowns paired with denim looked effortlessly stylish, and I could see many girls adopting this look next season,” Bell remarked.

 

GARDEN PARTY
While the SS19 Osman presentation was located in the unassuming Phoenix Gardens, it was clear that these clothes were made for vibrant festivities. Surrounded by greenery, the collection ignited our inner wanderlust with bright colors, animal prints, sequins, feathers, and rose brocade.

 

WHIMSICAL COLLABORATION
We had the pleasure of chatting with celebrated designer/illustrator Giles Deacon about his latest collaboration with the accessory brand Aspinal of London. He walked us through the playful collection, which showcases original illustrations across a range of leather totes, clutches, and purses. Look out for more on the Giles x Aspinal capsule soon as it launches exclusively at Barneys this October.


VICTORIAN-INSPIRED

Erdem’s feminine collection brought the drama with Victorian-inspired silhouettes in striking floral patterns. In the show notes, the designer Erdem Moralioglu emphasized the importance of self-expression and closed with an important sentiment, “Fashions change, attitudes come and go, but the courage of dressing to become what you are remains something powerful and primal.”

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