Day three of London Fashion Week was one of grand locations that played setting to perfectly matched collections. The Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum, with its fantastic multi-storey, convex white wall, set the stage for Preen’s cleansing collection. Pastels were prominent again, but offset by stark white set with their signature graphic prints.
The skirt this season is a wrap. This was solidified today at Preen as well as at Emilia Wickstead, a stunning show set in the Halcyon Gallery on New Bond Street and played out in the style of an old school couture show, in which the models slowly strutted through the space, pausing at each seating arrangement. Wickstead’s collection epitomized the lady of London, with voluminous skirts and flattering cuts, something that was hammered home by Alice Temperley at her Temperley London show in the ballroom of the Savoy. And while there were no Middletons in attendance, the collection was every bit princess, with intricately embellished yet simply cut dresses.
Something to note at both Wickstead and Temperley was the way in which they both remade the “mullet dress” that has become so popular (and in this editor’s opinion, tired) in the past few seasons. Both designers referenced a 1950s looks with sweeping trapeze-cut skirts that flared out to make the hem a continuous line rather than a sudden jump from short to long. At Emilia Wickstead these were knee length in the front and flowing to the floor in the back, whereas at Temperley the difference was so subtle, you’d have to look very closely to ever know. The result was extraordinarily flattering.
Long shorts were also notable. Matthew Williamson, Emilia Wickstead and Mulberry all showed versions (the latter as incredibly cool tear-away leathers; the show was at Claridge’s). Come to think of it, I have yet to see a single short short on the runway here in London, save for one at Matthew Williamson where they stood out if only because they felt so wrong.
There will be other ways to bear it all come spring, however. Sheer is here. Designers have had no issue with putting completely see-through blouses, dresses, skirts, everything, on the runway almost without exception. Your tan lines have fair warning.