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LFW: The Composite of History in 21st Century Fashion

At this year’s London Fashion Week, the crowd naturally consisted of fashionistas, hipsters and other creative individuals that seem to have raided their mum’s, or even grandma’s – dress up box, and still look effortlessly cool. In all likelihood, this is rather mundane for Fashion Week, and especially for London Fashion Week.

Among the street style there was Punk, Alice Dellal style – ripped fishnet tights, Doc Martens (ignore what the others say, DM’s will persevere as a fashion statement), studded leathers, heavy kohl and long, straight hair. 50s with a modern twist was also something that stood out – maxi skirts with slouchy blazers and high-tied buns, as well as the classic suit and tweed blazers for the boys. Hats also seemed to be part of the latest hype.

Inside the designer’s exhibition, and the catwalk shows I attended on Day 1, there were 5 re-occuring products and styles;

1. 60s: It is time for the hippy inside you to come back out. Flowing linen and silk tops, delicate maxi skirts, flared trousers and jumpsuits that will take you back to ‘That 70s Show’. All of these in soft pinks, oranges, yellows, browns and beige.

2. Black: edgy cuts, extravagant shapes and mainly loose-fitting pieces. Black is always a continual theme, but in this season’s Designer exhibition it was extremely obvious. The styles and shapes were almost gothic like. One to watch; Dr Noki-NHS A/W collection 2011.

3. Metallics: prominent forms, studded, beaded, you name it – it’s there. Mainly in golds and silvers and matched with black. Jewellery style: futuristic with a little bit of a tribal feel. Chunky rings, big bangles and pioneering necklaces, predominantly ‘halter neck’ length. Check out London-based designer Fiona Paxton’s cuffs and Sarah Angold Studios’ necklaces.

4. “Sky High” heels: Still. It could have all started with Alexander McQueen. I believe it did – it is the Lady Gaga influence. The majority of the high heels seen at the exhibition, and based on street style, all had very high, oddly shaped, overly creative and eccentric heels. My personal favourite was Atalanta Weller’s 4th collection, which consisted of black and browns in suede and leather.

5. Last but not least, Aztec prints. But in a contemporary way. Seen at Sass & Bide, Krystof Strozyna and even NEWGEN featured designer Holly Fulton. On the whole, the print was shown in patches on body con dresses, leggings and tops, in bold, but not bright shades, and, without question, perfectly current.

All in all, everything is looking fantastic. Personally, I have not yet seen much change within this upcoming season’s clothing and cuts, but maybe that is yet to come. One act that certainly caught my eye, and was simple but unique, was Central St Martins fashion designer INSIDE OUT. The UK based artist has already conquered Selfridges in the UK and Colette in France, so watch out for these kids. Their black and white laser print dresses, cotton and jersey sweatshirts and generally exciting stuff with cutting edge designs, and amazing materials.

-Nina Hoogstraate

Photos from Style.com

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