London Fashion Week: Day 1

Ostwald Helgason held an intimate presentation that marked the label’s first year. A graphic floral print in bold, contrasting colors made its way onto high-waisted shorts, biker jackets and structured vests, while humping balloon dogs appeared across T-shirts and sweatshirts, and were woven into a double-sided jacquard used for trenches and skirts. For a polished edge, the designers introduced tailored trousers and pleated skirts.

Christopher Raeburn, known for his outwear, broke away from his reputation with a collection that attempted femininity in the form of sleek shift dresses and relaxed pencil skirts in printed silk. But the main message was texture. There were dresses in scuba-esque neoprene, bombers made from quilted satin, linen shirtdresses and parachute fabric military jackets. It was a success, with Raeburn’s ethos of fabric research and innovation evident, but not overpowering.

Daks, however, failed to impress. The British heritage brand, along the lines of Burberry and Aquascutum, takes pride in its services to the royal family and the aristocratic country set. However, where Christopher Bailey moved Burberry into the new millennium, Daks got left behind in the muddy moors. Its signature check was anywhere and everywhere: on the trim of an organza veil, on a pair of tailored trousers and even on a floor-sweeping gown. The soundtrack to the show was La Vie En Rose and the styling, with oversized tortoiseshell jewellery and silk headscarves, was a clear reference to the glamazons of the French Riviera. Unfortunately, it missed the mark.

As for Eudon Choi, one of the most promising young designers on the LFW schedule, we wouldn’t know. A flock of press and buyers were left out in the rain after an underestimation of venue capacity. What’s Fashion Week without a few disappointments?

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