London Fashion Week: Julien Macdonald, Henry Holland, Todd Lynn

It makes sense that London menswear has a show season, since women’s designers borrow from Savile Row, and have been for some time.

Case in point,Todd Lynn, whose fall collection was largely a riff on the three-piece suit. Looks were either enlarged—i.e. taffeta vest and shorts combinations—or modishly sharp, like narrowly cut coats that had an almost equestrienne severity. The show faltered when Lynn strayed from his austere mannish aesthetic; the lacy cocktail dresses were, while attractive, kind of undistinguished. It took the show-closers—restrained confections of leather and pleated silk—to prove that London’s resident minimalist can bang out evening wear when the occasion demands it.

Bloody hell, Julien Macdonald’s gone minimal, said precisely nobody. He piled on the glitter, sequins, and paillettes, as well as metallics like gold, silver, and the relatively subdued pewter. Returning to the runway after a short hiatus, he’s clearly decided to capitalize on the flashy gowns he does best. The front row—which included British pop starlets The Saturdays and Pixie Lott—effectively dispelled memories of his unhappy stint at Givenchy long ago. It’s doubtful his PRs will get many call-ins from London’s many style bibles, but the red carpet potential will ensure the brand’s survival for a good while yet.

Henry Holland took inspiration from generations of party girls, ranging from 60s hippie chicks to 80s ravers. His models, including face du jour Cara Delevingne, walked to an acid-house soundtrack in flared pants cut gawkily just above the ankle and Abigail’s Party-esque tunics. Also on show were undulating clashy prints in teal, peach and chartreuse, as well as a high-fashion take on the astrakhan coat. Patent leather, meanwhile, was polished up until it became almost indistinguishable from PVC clubwear. MDMAzing.

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