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The Top 7 Things to know about London Fashion Week 2016

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Exeter Cornwall chapter.

I am sure most of you, like me, experienced the deluge of London Fashion Week articles on social media from the 19th to the 23rd of February, and although I do love scrolling through the photos of celebrities and the new collections, it can get a little overwhelming. My Instagram feed gets so busy that I find I miss out on an awful lot of the action because, however much I’d like to sit and look at the nice shiny new clothes all day, I have lectures that I need to go to… It’s only when it’s suddenly all over that I can catch up with who showed what, when and where, and with which big names making an appearance to get the first glimpse in the flesh of the new collections. And so with this in mind, I have complied a retrospective ‘Top 7 Things’ to know about this year’s Fashion Week from our native capital (Yes, New York and Milan have happened too, but London is the coolest right?!) 


1. The Return of Alexander McQueen.

This season saw the resurrection of the McQueen show at London Fashion Week under Sarah Burton, the designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress back in 2011. This really was the block buster show of the week; the hot ticket to have, with some really fabulous creations on show. The collection was dream-like, almost surreal, which indeed, is classically McQueen. The traditional use of tailoring with a modern twist for which McQueen was so famous was still present and remains a definitive characteristic of the house. Black leather added a punk feel to the collection, whilst the deep sense of femininity for me was maintained with a number of soft pale pink pieces and the patterns of clocks, lips and butterflies – a sort of Alice in Wonderland couture vibe. The real stars of the show though were the nude embellished cape dresses (yes, capes are big this season), which were fantastical and ethereal. Anyone who can make embroidered unicorns on a dress look super luxurious is a big winner in my book – bravo, McQueen. 


2. The Hot Topic

I wrote another article recently about the recent shock news of Burberry and Tom Ford’s break with fashion calendar tradition and the implementation of the new see-now-buy-immediately catwalks ,which will start later this year. Of course, this was naturally a hot topic of conversation. Anticipation, and I think excitement, is building around seeing who will take Christopher Bailey’s lead and follow suit. Check out the reaction of model Karlie Kloss at the Topshop Unique show. 


3. Celebrity Guests (naturally)

Because whats fashion week really if there aren’t any celebrity guests looking fabulous on the front row!? Burberry always pull out all the stops with their guest list, with Alexa Chung making a chic appearance this year in perhaps the item of the season – the cape – as well as appearances from the gorgeous Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and fashion royalty Naomi Campbell and Mario Testino. Something notable for me this year were those regular faces who were conspicuous by their absence, including Kate Moss (although she has recently broken her leg…) and Cara Delevingne who seems to be retreating from the spotlight of the fashion world recently and spending an increasing amount of time in Paris with her girlfriend, St Vincent. (Cara, we miss those fierce brows and cheekbones, please come back!)


4. Outwear

Okay so I’ve already dropped a few references to capes, and yes, capes are indeed ‘in’ this season – Alexa Chung rocked a chic cape at Burberry. Outwear in general was oversized and a statement, with more realistically wearable pieces at the Topshop show in particular. Rosie H-W and Naomi Campbell rocked smart military style coats at Burberry, whilst everything at McQueen was obviously embellished and luxurious, fitting in with their dream-like theme. Keep an eye out for Topshop collection soon guys… 


5. The Setting

Each year it seems the the setting and location of the shows just gets better. Taking place in London, designers often take advantage of the iconic, historic and diverse range of locations; the set reflects the themes of the collection, and this season the most dazzling example of this was undoubtedly Julien Macdonald. Whilst Topshop are usually associated with using modern spaces like the Tate Modern, with their show being held at the Tate Britain this year, Macdonald’s show was held in the beautiful, glitzy setting of One Mayfair Church. The lavishly decorated interior was the perfect backdrop for an equally lavish collection, and did add that ‘wow’ factor to Macdonald’s already stellar collection. 


6. Roksanda

The understated star of fashion week for me was of course Roksanda. Becoming a prominent figure recently with the likes of Kate Middleton wearing her designs, Roksanda put out a sophisticated collection which touched on a number of Vogue Magazine’s major trends of the season. This included ruffles, capes and velvet in autumnal shades of purple and orange. The overall feel was smooth seventies, a trend which has been around for a while. Roksanda takes 70’s cool from something a teen would pick up in a high street store to something wearable for the modern working woman. Velvet boots anyone? 


7. Vogue Snapchat

So, this was super cool. Alexa Chung took over Vogue’s snapchat account during fashion week, giving you a glimpse into what fashion week is like off the catwalk. There were cool videos of Chung going to and from shows, obviously watching the shows, and hanging around with the other guests after. Not only is she a style icon, but she’s also pretty funny. Go and check out some of the clips on the Vogue website. 

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Elizabeth Rees

Exeter Cornwall

English and History Student at Exeter University. Hoping to go into the fashion industry or journalism after graduating.