What I learned from London Fashion Week

Irish design is alive and well

Across the water Irish designers are leading the charge. Simone Rocha, JW Anderson, Richard Malone, Natalie B Coleman, Paul Costelloe and Katie Ann McGuigan were just some of the creatives making their mark on the international stage that is London Fashion Week. Another notable development this season was the number of Irish creatives working backstage — I bumped into stylist Celestine Cooney, hair stylist Darren Lacken, make-up artist Aidan Corcoran and model-in-demand Lorna Foran at one show alone.

JW Anderson AW19

JW Anderson is a true original

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The Northern Irish designer delivered a truly forward-thinking yet wearable collection. Jackets with enormous batwing shoulders created distorted proportions that felt utterly fresh, while a deconstructed check-lined trench coat with oversized lapels and matching cuffs turned up on almost every international fashion feed, such was its originality. Large, chunky gold chain chokers and sparkling beaded brooches offered a punctuation to the equestrian-themed jockey hats worn as fascinators.

Benjamin Muller working on his 'daughter' look backstage at Emilia Wickstead AW19

Benjamin Muller's 'the mother' backstage at Emilia Wickstead AW19

Hair gets a Godfather-style makeover

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Hair supremo Benjamin Muller told me backstage at Emilia Wickstead that his inspiration was “Sicilian women and The Godfather”. He chose to create two distinct looks for the show — the mother and daughter. The mother look was the more severe of the two and focuses on head shape. The hair is swept over in a side parting, bringing it low over the forehead and tight into the hairline, finishing in an elegant bun. The daughter look is a little more retro — it's a red carpet look fit for the formal, gala-style dresses in the collection without being too prim.

Backstage at Emilia Wickstead AW19

Backstage at Roksanda AW19

Big Bird is fashion's new muse

While yellow hues, from vibrant to buttercup, dominated the catwalks, the addition of feathers added a certain avian edge, (perhaps to lift our mood during the dreariest of months?). Molly Goddard’s show was brimming with paintbox brights, but a dress in deep yellow with trademark ruffles and a belted waist, felt like a direct homage to Sesame Street’s famous resident. Roksanda and Mary Katrantzou also sent playful and oversized feather-trimmed creations down the catwalk, while Emilia Wickstead created one of the prettiest dresses of the season in an egg yolk hue, with a fitted bodice and ruched décolletage detailing.

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Erdem AW19

Dress your tresses

Forget bags, it was hair accessories causing a stir this season - from Simone Rocha’s beaded double tiaras in beautiful jewel tones to Erdem’s netted headbands. Going all-out with impish accessories was Shrimps’ Hannah Weiland. She paired yellow dresses with fuzzy faux fur headbands, while Molly Goddard gave her girls simple black Alice bands. Meanwhile, over at Emilia Wickstead, neat velvet bows were nestled into regal up-dos, serving up an exquisite finishing touch.

 

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Backstage at Emilia Wickstead AW19

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