Six Highlights From London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2018 – Forbes
One of the British fashion world’s highly respected designers, Jasper Conran produced his first womenswear collection in 1978 and was a founding member of the London Designer Collections, now today’s London Fashion Week. From womenswear to menswear to fragrance, accessories, luggage and last year his first luxury hotel, L’Hôtel Marrakech, Jasper Conran is always on the lookout for new creative opportunities. His Spring/Summer 2018 bespoke ready-to-wear collection showcased during a lively catwalk show at the ballroom at Claridge’s Hotel offered new surprises. While Conran’s collections in previous seasons have been more sombre, I loved his latest designs which are bursting with bright colors. Sportswear inspired separates including cotton trousers and cool windbreakers were shown alongside simple skirts and slip dresses.
Markus Lupfer‘s fun, cheerful presentation at the Carriage Hall in Covent garden included beautiful prints on skirts and tops, gorgeous knitted twinsets and platforms with beeded ankle straps. Always one of the highlights of London Fashion Week, Markus Lupfer has gone from strength to strength after winning the British Fashion Council’s New Generation Award in 2001, which provided him the platform to show on an international level. He was Design Director at Spanish fashion house Armand Basi in 2006 and won won “Best Designer of the Year”, at the Prix de la Mode Awards in Spain in 2008. Lupfer’s collaborations and consultancy projects have included international brands like Cacharel, Mulberry and Armand Basi One. The designer’s playful knitwear and innovative use of print, embroidery and graphic embellishment has earned him a dedicated celebrity following from Madonna, Beyonce, Rhianna, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, among others.
London-based Irish designer Paul Costelloe‘s beautiful tailoring has always attracted a loyal wide-ranging fan base (afterall, he was Princess Diana’s personal designer). Paul Costelloe emphasis on beautiful tailoring in all his collections was on show again on the catwalk, in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria hotel. His SS18 collection featured the classic silhouettes one expects from Paul Costelloe, made from fabrics all produced in family-run European Mills – Emblem Weavers Wexford, Sordevolo Como, Dutel in the Loire Valley. Coats and dresses with fun flounces, light-weight wool for spring and summer, appliquéd cotton soft pastel dresses and jumpsuits with a nod to the 60s plus long statement dresses in 100% Irish linen were all beautifully presented. Also on the catwalk was menswear featuring striped and pastel suits in light wool and linen plus gorgeous handbags – oversized totes and mini Jessica bags inspired by the structural details of the apparel collection.
Osman Yousefzada has been widely admired since his label debuted in 2008. His art/fashion crossover catwalk show this month at the Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit in Mayfair, London featured sleeves lined with feathers, psychedelic prints, brocades, rich colors, fabrics include satin, denim, tull with embroidery. Celebrity fans of OSMAN are plentiful and include Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Emily Blunt and Elisabeth Moss.
Beijing-based designer Sheguang Hu, presented a spectacular haute couture collection in the great hall of London’s Natural History Museum. A massive dinosaur loomed overhead while models in vertiginous platform heels paraded in astonishing floor length gowns in that looked like they were from a by-gone era. Hu, drew inspiration from the ancient Silk Road known for trading silk from China, covering tens of thousands of miles and spanning centuries. This was a magical show that made a lasting impression on the admiring crowd.
Two hundred year old brand Clarks new collection should appeal to a younger audience with its offer of funkier options alongside old classics. Their presentation for SS18 focused on old classics like desert boots (first launched in the 1950s) along with brightly colored slides. The strong new collection was given street cred by inviting Neneh Cherry to DJ at the party downstairs.