London Fashion Week is over for another season. Having been mounted entirely digitally this time round and consisting of both men’s and women’s presentations, it was not possible to get up close and personal with the clothes this time around, but there were still plenty of strong style lessons to be learned.
From the gender fluid excellence peddled at both Harris Reed and Burberry to the sports-infused conscious luxury of Ahluwalia and Saul Nash, here are the key styling notes learned from the digital fashion week that was.
1. There’s no skirting the issue
We’ve seen skirts, kilts and dresses for men being shown for several seasons now, but what started life as a micro movement, peddled exclusively by the more avant garde brands, has since grown into a trend that should perhaps be taken more seriously. Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton and Jonathan Anderson, at his eponymous brand, showed a host of pleated skirts and dresses back in January and as part of the latest round of shows in London both Riccardo Tisci (who is best known for his archly masculine brand of luxury) at Burberry and Harris Reed showed full-blown skirt, kilts and gowns as key elements of their seasonal menswear collections.
From left: Burberry; Harris Reed; Burberry
© Vogue Runway and Jenny Brough
2. A natty neckerchief is your new indoor pick-me-up…
First shown at Hermès earlier this year, the loosely tied neckerchief trend is one you’ll want to get in on as we move into spring and further out of lockdown. It’s a surefire way to lift a pedestrian outfit into the realms of something more special and our advice would be to make like Queen Elizabeth Award For Design winner Priya Ahluwalia and team a sweater or shirt with a scarf in a tonal hue for full regal effect. It’s also important to opt for a scarf in a fabric that holds a bit of weight in order for it to keep its shape. Cashmere in the winter, silk in the summer, we say.
3. …and a padded scarf is your outdoor one
Oversized, heavily padded scarves wrapped around necks with origami precision are big news for AW21. The best can be found at Dunhill, where creative director Mark Weston crafted his out of car seat leather, and at Saul Nash, where down-filled nylon scarves were worn, cleverly, with matching tracksuits.
From left: Saul Nash; Bianca Saunders; Qasimi; Dunhill
© Vogue Runway and Qasimi
4. Suits are back but not as you know them
There’s been a lot of guff talked about the death of the suit: in part as a result of the pandemic; in part due to the fact that we’ve all just become more slovenly in recent years. The truth is, however, that the suit’s not going anywhere; rather, it’s evolving. A case in point is the series of denim jacket and trouser co-ords shown this week in bold colours at Bianca Saunders, Ahluwalia and Qasimi. Providing all the matchy-matchy elegance of a traditional suit with none of the stuffiness, ease your way back to sartorial supremacy this summer with one of these suits, which, well, aren’t in fact suits.
From left: Ahluwalia; Qasimi; Bianca Saunders
© Vogue Runway and Qasimi
5. A trench coat is still the thing
The two biggest brands that showed as part of London Fashion Week February 2021 were Dunhill and Burberry, both of which placed the humble trench coat at the centre of their AW21 offerings. At the former, the best could be found cut from dense caramel leather and at the latter, the trench options were manifold, cut as they were from classic stone gabardine in rich shades of plum – some were even cut without front lapels, affording them a contemporary, minimalist feel. The lesson? Buy yourself a trench coat now, because it will never, ever go out of fashion.
From left: Dunhill; Burberry
© Vogue Runway
6. Party shoes!
If you’re as fed up of slippers and as bored of trainers as we are, you’ll be thrilled to learn that the biggest trend in footwear for Autumn/Winter 2021 is for shoes designed expressly for partying. From the oversized platform boots shown at Harris Reed– the best of which were finished with reclaimed spikes from biker jackets – to the dandified loafers at Edward Crutchley and the crystal-encrusted sock boots at Burberry, if your footwear isn’t completely nuts in the second half of this year, you’re not coming in.
From left: Edward Crutchley; Harris Reed; Burberry
© Edward Crutchely, Jenny Brough and Vogue Runway
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