LFW SS19 Roundup
The fashion action crossed the pond from NY to LDN, where designers gave us that signature London Fashion Week mix of mad eccentricity, a touch of historical romance, and the ongoing subversive club-kids influences. From 80s neon to sheer fabrics and leopard on leopard pairings, here’s our round-up of the top trends from London Fashion Week SS19.
The future was looking bright on the London runways – for S/S 19, at least – as designers played with an optimistic palette of strong, commercial brights. The emphasis was on the warmer end of the spectrum, with funny yellows, hot pink, orange and a revival of revolutionary red. To cool things down, look to ultra-blues and vivid aquamarine as your key main shades, with unexpected pops of pale lilac and soft pistachio.
The 80s are an influence here, with a revival of the era’s intense, blue-cast shades making a noise on the London runways. An obvious choice for party and occasion dressing, the new look converts these almost-neon pinks into an option for casual outerwear, too.
And to complete the warm summer-bright palette, a range of vibrant orange tones – from yellow-cast carrot through to the rich intensity of true Jaffa orange. Expect to see them used in combination with the neon pinks, or given an extra punch when worked in lustrous wet-look finishes.
Whisper-soft – almost a tint or wash – this range of soft pastel blues looks new and fresh as an alternative to the season’s amplified hot brights. Expect to see this level of colour having most impact for early or transitional drops as a key main shade for everything from outerwear to dresses and knits.
Vivid blues acted as the counterpoint to LFW’s colourful palette, with these bold aquamarines bringing a strong commercial look to the runways. Fabrications are important, with sleek satins, iridescent finishes or lightweight lace and sheers making this a key colour for everything from sportswear to glamorous party looks.
As seen throughout the New York runways, designers were backing the mood for slick satin, mesh effects and the shimmer of all-over sequins. Homespun embroideries looked new, and there was an artisanal feel at work in the pieced and colour-blocked fabric mixes, which looked strong as an update for casual outerwear. Meanwhile, the trend for double denim shows no sign of abating any time soon.
Club and partywear was a key factor for designers at LFW, who put on the glitz for S/S 19 with all-over sequin effects – adding a razzle-dazzle effect to simple shifts and sheaths. Probably a fabric trend best suited for fast-response retailers still considering their holiday drops.
High-shine satins have been under the radar for a couple of seasons now, and look set to finally hit the mainstream next summer. We also saw the emergence of jacquard satin, which offered a more commercial take on the look.
Mesh and openwork effects look set to be a key fabric trend for S/S 19, as designers flirted with simple mesh dresses, tunics and knits. There’s a 90s minimalist vibe to the look, along with a more artisanal appeal, as seen in the homespun effects at JW Anderson.
The London runways were notable for the introduction of a new soft, romantic mood – maybe as an antidote to all the empowered women’s looks we’ve seen recently. That new mood manifests as cloud-like ephemeral sheers, weightless tulles and organzas, complemented with a palette of pretty pastels.
PRINT & PATTERN
Several definitive S/S 19 print directions emerged in London, as well as some highly commercial updates for generic bestsellers, looking directional when embraced by big names like Burberry. Graphic motifs were another highlight – think faces and typographical slogans – along with simplified florals like the humble daisy. Gentle degrade effects of subtle, ombréd washes offer a new direction as a ground for floral patterns.
Animal prints are another perennial trend, and S/S 19 offers us several new ways to evolve the herd of patterns currently invading the high street. Consider diverse coloured grounds, recoloured treatments – maybe using unexpected neons or new fashion main shades like hot pink – and mismatched blocked prints for maximum effect.
London Fashion Week is never the go-to place for the season’s hottest commercial key items, with designers preferring to play up to their creative impulses. Instead, we saw a new sense of femininity creeping in, with the likes of Ryan Lo, Simone Rocha and Molly Goddard shifting focus to soft dresses, rather than LFW’s usual hard-edged tailoring and clubby sportswear. Elsewhere, it was all about wide cropped pants, easy shirtdresses and classic blazers.
After the bum-bag revival of the past few seasons, bags are finally reverting to a more feminine look, with miniature purses featuring clasp frames and more than a hint of vintage appeal – especially when worked in buttery leathers or sleek satins. For those customers who still want the bum-bag feel, mini clasp-frame bags strung onto narrow belts fit the bill.