London Fashion Week: Day 4

As rain violently pelted the roof of Burberry Prorsum’s venue in Hyde Park, milky rose petals were gently raining inside, tumbling onto a diverse lineup of models in soft pastel shades. It was a magical moment and a testament that Christopher Bailey can turn even the dullest of British characteristics into a vision of rosy romanticism. The classic English Rose informed the collection, with double-faced Scottish cashmere and Nottingham lace skirts and trenches in a sugary almond palette. Oversized coats were paired with scandalously sheer skirts in a subliminal and soft way rather than the studded, hard-hitting glamour that Bailey has so frequently presented. Latex and clusters of rhinestones were worked into final looks, giving thorns to that English Rose.

It makes sense that Roksanda Ilincic was the Samantha Cameron’s first show of the week. The First Lady is a big fan, as are many, many women who appreciate the designer’s luxurious aesthetic. This season, Ilincic offered some new propositions, challenging her feminine aesthetic to move in a new direction. There were boxy jackets with curved shoulders in sporty gray neoprene, perfect for spring, as well as stiff pleated skirts and dresses with a masculine edge. Planes of pleats on skirts were worn over tailored trousers, while silk ribbons flowed from dresses and hems, splicing into stripes of yellow, orange and purple leading to the waist. The color palette was certainly bold, perhaps clownish, but the option is there for those who dare and the cuts were so flattering that they’d probably look great on anyone.

India has been the inspiration for many a collection over time, but rarely does it come in as modern a context as that of Osman’s spring collection. Forget the overdone ornate beadwork, sari-inspired dresses and billowing salwar trousers. Everyone knows that the best saris and beadwork come from the unparalleled skill of Indian fashion houses and craftsmen. Instead, Osman Yousefzada took elements of the romanticism of Rajasthani architecture and applied it to his strictly clean and tailored aesthetic. There was a crisp white shirt with a knotted turban-inspired hem, a delicately sequined sheer skirt worn over slim cigarette pants and beaded clutches in mustard and white. The overall result was refreshing and did the grandeur of those Indian palaces proud, while maintaining every bit of Yousefzada’s design ethos.

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