Forget cold shoulders, according to Toga’s AW17 show at London Fashion Week yesterday, hips are the new erogenous zone. For women who want clothes with a strong point of difference, Japanese label Toga offers an aesthetic that’s both aspirational without being intimidating. Founder Yasuko Furuta once said, “I create clothes for a … woman who can only live in chaos”, yet there was nothing disorderly about the edit of layered tunic dresses and straight-leg trousers presented in a confidently eclectic palette of cornflower blues through to burgundy, yellow and black.
Hip-revealing cut-outs were a consistent feature throughout the collection, giving a more feminine shape to otherwise straight-cut tunic dresses. Sleeves were a focus, too; some ruffled, others balloon-shaped and some slashed.
At Topshop Unique, meanwhile, there were two main narratives at play. Athleisure strongly informed the first half of the collection – zip-front sweatshirts, sports-inspired tops and hooded sweaters – while the second half showed the label’s softer side in the form of a selection of silk satin floral and blush-toned dresses. Topshop has a way of cleverly designing for both sides of the same woman by injecting a sophistication into its street wear and bringing a distinct lack of frothiness to its pretty frocks.
I was never a fan of the Roland Mouret Moon dress (I think Victoria Beckham had one in every colour at the time), and since then I’ve had him boxed into a “not for me” category. But the sexy, sophistication of his AW17 collection appealed hugely to me. The teal and taupe combination, below, feels modern and fresh, while the fluctuating hemline, asymmetric neckline and fluted sleeves added interest at every opportunity but without overwhelming. The balance between fitted and fluid felt just right, producing an effortlessness to the silhouettes that contrasted sharply with some of his previous designs.
There’s still plenty to come from London Fashion Week, but so far there’s a strong feeling that designers are determined to offer women style solutions rather than just sartorial fantasies.