London Fashion Week SS17: Highlights of Day 2
If you are all for unconventional wedding gowns (or church ensembles), look no further than Simone Rocha's Spring 2017 show. The Dublin-born designer sent her models down the aisle-turned-catwalk in dresses that are both ethereal and earthy, inspired by William John Leech's paintings of convent girls in the early 20th century, Jackie Nickerson's modern photographs of farmers in Africa and Paul Henry's 1912 painting, The Potato Diggers. Rocha's signature of voluminous, romantic and Gothic Lolita looks are infused with her take on baptismal gowns and communion dresses: pieces with puffed shoulders and chunky knots on the sleeves, soft tulle dresses teamed with red or black patent wellies and shirts in broderie anglaise worn under grey suiting checks with one shoulder falling off. While white dominated the palette, yellow, pink, red and black made an appearance in the form of long, slim gingham dresses adorned with small flowers, silk organza and tulle numbers with drooping hems and loose tea dresses in a patchwork of floral embroidered fabrics.
It was dresses and skirts galore at J.W. Anderson as the Irish designer takes on Tudor fashion by giving the medieval era a 21st century look with an ultra-feminine vibe. From giant looped Henry VIII sleeves teamed with frothy, off-kilter skirts to what appeared to be linen placemats sewn into architectural layers to create a dress, the alpha-male influences are merged seamlessly into the soft and romantic collection. To avoid the quilted jackets, hybrid quilted and cotton shirts and sweaters with exaggerated rollnecks (think Renaissance ruff and cuff) from appearing too costumey, they are styled with sherbet-coloured skirts, offbeat yet charming prints and round-toe shoes tied with cords. Looks like we just found an urban armour for the modern woman.
At House of Holland, gypsy influences are given an exuberant treatment. Inspired by photographer, Josef Koudelka who spent time shooting the Romani gypsy community in the '60s and '70s, Henry Holland incorporated Spanish references into his Spring/Summer 2017 collection. From the crop top and low-slung gingham flares to the flamenco-inspired ruffle dress, the collection spells fun and summertime-ready. Adding on to the folksy appeal while keeping it street-smart at the same time, there were plenty of florals done on everything from slip dresses to button-up blouses styled with fishnet tank tops and tracksuits.
To increase the fun factor, the brand celebrated it 10th anniversary by sending models down the runway wearing a new range of his iconic Fashion Groupie slogan tees, the ones that launched the brand back in 2006. Accessorised with sunnies and gold door knocker earrings, the tongue-in-cheek slogans included 'Give us a toss Karlie Kloss' and 'Let's breed Bella Hadid'. Talk about a grand finale.