The creativity of designers like David Koma and Simone Rocha poured onto the catwalk during London Fashion Week (LFW). There, Spring/Summer 2022 collections took a theatrical turn following New York designers’ colorful yet practical approach to suiting and trench coats.
“London fashion week left us with plenty to talk about, as British designers are known for taking a conceptual approach to fashion in terms of imbuing their collections with heavily researched historical references,” data-driven fashion trend forecasting firm Heuritech stated. “Moreover, the London fashion ecosystem also has the reputation of being a hub for up-and-coming designers, making it one of the most interesting fashion weeks in terms of creativity.”
Indeed, all eyes were on emerging designers. KNWLS, Rejina Pyo, Simone Rocha, Erdem and JW Anderson were among the most-viewed shows, according to fashion search engine Tagwalk.
The body-skimming and minimalist looks coined in the ’90s reappeared on the S/S 22 runway in London. Nensi Dojaka presented a simple black tube top with high-rise trousers. Cutout bodysuits were both a base layer and statement piece for KNWLS and Supriya Lele. Victoria Beckham elongated silhouettes by layering a long-line tank top over slip dresses. The body-con theme carried over into David Koma’s collection of cutout mini-dresses and Burberry’s leggings with side cutouts.
“Eye-catching details played a central role throughout London shows,” Heuritech stated.
Stockings and tights were among those details. David Koma trimmed thigh-high stockings with colorful marabou feathers and mirror embellishments. Colorful stripes decorated Molly Goddard’s hosiery. Head accessories were prevalent—spanning Richard Malone’s ruched swim caps to Edrem’s wide-brim floral printed hats.
Whereas one part of LFW was driven by sex appeal, another was full of romance and fantasy.
An extension of 2020’s Cottagecore and Regencycore themes, statement collars framed faces across collections at LFW. Simone Rocha, Rejina Pyo and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy featured oversized white Edwardian-style collars on blouses, dresses and jackets. Historical elements filtered across collections, executed in toile de Jouy and luxurious fabrics like lace, guipure, brocade, satin, and broderie anglaise, Heuritech reported.
Edward Crutchley took a sustainable approach to the historic fabrics with a version made with recycled polyester.
The decorative collars complemented the plethora of doll-like frocks that dressed the stages, Tagwalk noted. With sheer fabrications and sugary colors like pink, lavender and coral, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Yuhan Wang and Bora Aksu offered light and airy long and midi-length dresses. Paul & Joe presented a commercial take with a puff-sleeve floral baby doll dress. Tulle aficionado Molly Goddard returned with frothy mini dresses as well as ruched baby doll tops that contrasted with the designer’s stab at wide-leg jeans.
Florals—spanning English garden and illustrated varieties—and ruffles enhanced this heightened state of femininity. The two themes came together in Erdem’s collection of floral lace dresses, while Simone Rocha summed up the ornate aesthetic (complete with crystal crowns) with a show staged in a medieval church.
A joyful color palette, echoed in Pantone’s forecast for LFW, unified collections. Hot pink, orange and lime green helped rejuvenate the dress category. Turquoise and red combinations uplifted Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s collection, while Erdem and Emilia Wickstead made a strong case for garden greens.
The colors especially came to life across voluminous and unusual silhouettes such as Richard Quinn’s dramatic coats, Patricia Padron’s tiered mini dresses and Halpern’s very literal take on a bubble dress. Volume and bold colors, Heuritech noted, are key elements for designers seeking ways to push “the boundaries of fashion.”