Review: London Fashion Week February 2016

© Collage / Julia ZIerer

From the catwalk almost straight to reality: Somebody had to start and as Burberry loves to set the tone in terms of progress, it does not come as a surprise, that the designs were on display andready to order in the store on London’s Regent Street (still there’s a little catch: the delivery is scheduled 3 months later). Aside from this tiny revolution and the pleasant fact, that Alexander McQueen came back to his roots this season, presenting the collection “at home”, not in Paris,everything’s running as usual in the British capital: the designs are fun to look at and aim at  the extroverted wearer.

A little round about from us here:


Best Shows: My two favorites Erdem and Christopher Kane!

Erdem has outdone himself. His Hollywood diva Lauren Bacall and Betty Davis-inspired looks were, as usual, high-necked, elegant and romantically dark. But he added a new dimension: emphasized shoulders and a lot of shine in the form of silver grey sequins, gold threads, shiny light blue satin and sparkling earrings, all transported to the here and now with a hint of the 30s and 40s through a 70s YSL filter. And not to be forgotten, the fantastic setting in the (darkened, naturally) “Old Selfridges Hotel” with antique stools, chaise lounges, elegant sofas and lots of low hanging crystal chandeliers. At the afterparty in the very same location Keira Knightley danced with Natalie Massenet, Derek Blasberg, and, of course, Erdem, late into the night to Britney Spear’s “Toxic.” Fittingly, she was wearing my favorite look of the show – the cape dress covered and covered with dark silver sequins.

My second favorite, Christopher Kane, to put it in the words of my mom, has shot the bird (of course this is said in a Bavarian accent)! Ranging from the see-through plastic granny headscarves to the satin sneakers and the unforgetable soundtrack (“Eisbär” from Grauzone) this show was his best in a long time. I was especially taken by the ribbed looks with crochet and mesh pockets. Likewise with the modern pirate look with glittering and sparkling “talismans” draped on black and deep red outfits together with fabulously cool bobbing marabou feathers. I asked myself how the packaging of the super booties with feather fronts along the tibia might look. Or would it be in interchangeable colors and sizes? I’m strongly hoping for a positive outcome and to seeing them again in stores!

Best Dinner: The one hosted by Burberry, Erdem and at the onsite restaurant “Thomas.” Not only was the hand-picked menu from Christopher Bailey excellent, but also the “gang” of honoured guest Elisa Sednaoui Dellal from Alice, Alex and Andrea (mind blowing in THE yellow Gucci robe), Sheherazade Goldsmith, Sofia Sanchez, Alex de Betak, Alexia Niedzielski and Sabine Getty. Then with the mytheresa locals, Alexa Chung, Elizabeth von Thurn and Taxis, Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor, Harley Viera-Newton, Daisy Lowe, Mimi Xu and newcomer Laura Hayden and almost nothing could go wrong. Followed by a short trip to the bar from Chiltern Firehouse perfectly rounded out my #toomanyamazingpeopleinonenight overkill: Liv Tyler was celebrating her cooperation with Belstaff in one corner and Leo DiCaprio in the other.

Best Personal Moment: My first Alexander McQueen show!! And I wasn’t disappointed: wonderful, dramatic, romantic new interpretations of the house codes. Fantastic jewelry for the hair (the body chains from the last show are now in the hair) and equally exciting footwear (rhinestone symbols on high heels and creepers). My absolute highlight was the cape dress embroidered with silver. And the best: the same came in gold!

Best Surprise: Anya Hindmarch’s sparkly Pacman on slip-on sneakers and in shearling as coat pockets. How fun and at the top of my wish list!

Best Party: The party hosted by Natalia Vodianova and Karlie Kloss fund fair to support the Naked Heart Foundation. A photo of Ellen von Unwerth in a Rolls Royce Cabrio could be bought for a mere 1000 pounds and at the Givenchy stand there were star tattoos to place wherever (Maria Carla Boscone also got one, of course). How lucky that my boyfriend is always up for a challenge (especially when Natasha Poly assists). So, at the Repossi stand he fished out a rubber duck for me. My prize? A violet heart.

Impressions from London

Julia Knolle

I don’t want to think in categories this time, my 48 hours were so packed with great appointments and clever people (in fact, they were all female, now that I think about it). It was kicked off with the show from Burberry, which everyone was eagerly awaiting. My favorite model Edie Campbell opened the show.  We saw a marine blue wool coat with gold buttons, glitter men’s pants and a collection that uncharacteristically didn’t have any trench coats.

That was followed by a trip to Google’s offices where I was able to meet with the expert for fashion topics, which will be reviewed more thoroughly at another time. I was quite elated by so much smart input and out of the box thinking, and then quickly headed back to the hotel to not be late for the first meeting of the next day: 7:45am call time. and at one table, the exchange was so productive that I almost didn’t need my green tea to wake me up. Following this there was enough time for a quick stop to Electric House: for over five years my friend Roberta Benteler has shown how to distribute special labels via e-commerce with her online shop Because she had to rush off to the next show, there was only a short kiss goodbye and we both went our separate ways.

Victoria Beckham was waiting for me at Dover Street (okay, and a few other colleagues from the press) and personally lead the tour through her latest collection in her second line, Victoria by Victoria Beckham, that as of late even has denim. So humble, knowledgeable, charming and inspiring all at the same time – I don’t know how one achieves so much grandeur.

The crowning moment of this little trip was at Somerset House. Once the venue of London Fashion Week, which has since wandered in the direction of Brewer Car Park, the courtyard here was now quiet, but still as impressive. Our contributing editor, Shonagh Marshall, curated the gripping exhibition currently showing here, “Utopia 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility” and conscientiously leads me through all of the rooms. Impressive how much passion flows into the individual themes from the designers, some of which are from crisis-ridden countries like the Ukraine and Lebanon, which is why the work is surely very personal. I couldn’t fit any more in my brain and sleepwalked to the airport. Thank you, dear London, you’re always so good to us.

Victoria, Victoria Beckham F/W 16 Lookbook