London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017 is over. Veronika Heilbrunner spills all the details in her latest review
Collecting my thoughts about London Fashion Week (LFW) is always a little tough – and also for the whole hey woman! team, because it takes such a long time to finish writing this article in between the Milan shows. For one, I’m still jet-lagged after coming back from New York. I’m also totally overwhelmed by all of the creativity and diversity packed into those three always-so-intense London days. It’s one jewel after another! And this time I was even more overwhelmed because I was lucky enough to be able to attend a good friend’s wedding in Munich on the first day of LFW. So blame the “love high” – rather than one favorite, here are six: J.W.Anderson, Simone Rocha, Mary Katrantzou, Erdem, Christopher Kane, and Burberry!
Best Insider: Halpern
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If you needed proof of how much power Sarah Mower has, it was there in this tiny show on Regent Street. Michael Halpern has recently started working designing couture for Donatella Versace, but this presentation accentuated a minimal/maximal mix of classics and made the jaws of his small, but illustrious, list of guests – Elisabeth TNT, Mark Holgate, and Holli Rogers just to name a few – drop. This was obviously and absolutely a party collection from beginning to end. Halpern was inspired by Studio 54, Cher, Donna Jordan, and Bob Mackie.
Lili Sumner wearing those amazing allover sequined jumpsuits, Stephen Galloway perfecting the performance, Sabine Getty supporting with jewelry and Terry de Havilland with shoes, Sam McKnight doing the hair, Mimi Xu playing the music, and Patti Wilson providing overall support – that definitely makes for an All-Star team. Nevertheless, having arrived with a slight wedding hangover combined with NYFW jet lag, the mood was so fun and uplifting that all I wanted to do afterwards was dance.
Best Location: Burberry Makers House
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Burberry repeated last season’s huge success by presenting their “straight-to-the-customer” show in the midst of an exhibition of British artist Henry Moore sculptures that features over 40 of his works – from monumental bronzes to working models, drawings, and maquettes – to celebrate the 40th birthday of the Henry Moore Foundation.
As Christopher Bailey says, he has been fascinated by the sculptor for as long as he can remember – and in this immediately digitally and physically available collection, he shows how much of a powerful influence Moore’s work had on him. I was especially thrown by the amazing finale. All 78 models – both men and women – were doing their turn in a couture cape, each and every single one dedicated to something Henry Moore related. It was a great way to enrich the ready-to-buy situation.
The Makers House is open to the public until February 27th, showcasing not only the artworks and the collection, but also offering events, performances, and workshops – not to mention the “Thomas” pop-up restaurant, which serves a menu of British classics using seasonal produce. I certainly had a hard time leaving when I went to do my re-see.
Moment to Remember: Roksanda’s take on Nicoll Blue
The British Fashion Council, friends, and family worked together to create an entirely new Pantone color dedicated to Australian designer Richard Nicoll, who sadly passed away last year at the age of 39. It was a very beautiful thing to do in honor of the Saint Martin’s graduate known for his affinity to blue. Roksanda, a close friend of Nicoll’s, sent her out first model in a total Nicoll Blue look walking alone to the sounds of a piano player. Surely it wasn’t just Richard’s mother who was taken by this beautiful moment.
Best Look: Mary Katranzou
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With twin looks that only differed in their color, Mary totally won me over. Extra-cool: the long, lean, and amazingly embroidered gowns shown in combination with velvet pants and printed velvet pantsuits.
Favorite Dinner: Erdem in the Old Selfridges Hotel
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After staging Erdem’s show in the back of the mega department store for several seasons now, Selfridges’ Sebastian Manes took the next step and hosted a beautiful dinner to celebrate the amazing collection they had just shown on the runway – and just to name my favorites elements, think Oriental-inspired jacquard, printed velvets, lightweight brocades, all rich in their colors and soft in their shapes.
The dimly lit space was decorated with amazing, otherworldly flowers done by florist Simone Gooch (aka Fjura) that matched the beautiful ornamental glasses and a Turkish themed three course meal in honor of the designer’s roots.
Erdem welcomed guests like Natalie Massenet, Alexa Chung, Tim Blanks, and Thomas Persson (ex-Acne Paper and currently of Luncheon magazine) – just to name a few on his illustrious but intimate guest-list – matter-of-factly: “I’ve never eaten on a runway.” Personally, I’ve also never been at a fashion dinner where all of the plates were absolutely cleaned (the food was that delicious) and where literally everybody took a rose or even a little bouquet home.
Best Event: Fabulous Fund Fair in the Roundhouse
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This simply enchanting event hosted by supermodels Natalia Vodianova and Karlie Kloss was once again my absolute favorite happening during LFW. Gambling booths sponsored by brands from Net-a-Porter to Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney – it was certainly a Who’s Who of luxury – were operated by beauties like Erin O’Connor and Liv Tyler and lured you into spending your tokens.
How well the concept works is obvious – when we left, we couldn’t exchange our chips because they were all gone!!! Between us, I spent mine at the Fendi booth for a tarot card session while staring at a beautiful crystal ball. The event raised over £470,000 for Natalia’s Naked Heart Foundation, which develops a network of support services for families that have children with special needs. That makes my tired self very happy to think about.
Here are some of my favorites:
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Born and raised in Munich/Germany, Veronika’s professional career has developed from being a model to a fashion editor, to online luxury retailing and most recently style editor of Harpers Bazaar Germany. She currently lives in Berlin where in the beginning of 2015 she started a company with Julia Knolle, the ex-editor at large of Vogue Digital.
Oh, and she loves pugs!