Decoding London Fashion Week Trends

7 March 2018


More than ever, this London Fashion Week, which was always a whole lot different and just a touch more rebellious than the rest of them, was loaded with meaning. Designers were clearly led by their emotions and stands on a variety of issues, ranging from sexuality to consumerism, and the end results seem to be better for it. Without much further ado, let’s dive right in and see what London had to say and perhaps decipher the meaning hidden in the messages.


More Joy

Some people may think that, in the wake of current events, specifically those relating to the numerous movements against sexual harassment, there would be no room for sexuality, hidden or blatantly displayed, but Christopher Kane seems to have pulled it off. Namely, the dresses covered in illustrations depicting women, with the words ‘more joy’ written on them, are a stronger reference to sexuality than meets the eyes. The designer drew not only inspiration, but transported actual illustration from The Joy of Sex, a 1972 illustrated manual of positions and techniques by Alex Comfort. Those unfamiliar with the manual might just think that general joy is advocated through the line, but those in the know will know this is a sly and subliminal message. If you ask us, this is the perfect time to discuss female sexuality, and Kane sure pulled it off. However, the abundance of black on his runway may also be a subliminal message of support to the #timesup movement, but this is just our guess.


Consumerism on display

As already said, the shows certainly did not lack in meaning. The overall extremely colorful line presented by Ashish Gupta may just be carrying a double meaning. The first one is clear as day – consumerism is getting the best of us, and the desire to always have more doesn’t cease. The plastic grocery bags serving as purses depict this quite clearly, but there is more to this line than a mere critique of our consumerist tendencies.


All you need is love

The plethora of color, which wasn’t missing on a single member of the highly diverse cast, along with a dress covered in red hearts is a positive message. The colors speak of the need for acceptance of different sexual orientations, gender equality and send an overall ‘all you need is love’ message. It may be too much to wear all at once, but it sure makes for a great statement. Even the sunglasses were with color-lenses, much like the Australian Quay sunglasses which were made insanely popular by the likes of Kylie Jenner and Desi Perkins. However, Ashish’s line wasn’t the only rainbow-colored one – Burberry sends its love as well, and it is definitely out and proud. We’re guessing the rainbow-colored faux-fur coat isn’t what you would call ‘everyday casual’, but we’re sure someone will wear it. If not, there’s always the sweater or the hat, for a more subtle approach.  

Last tango in Paris

If you were to tango with someone you are not only in love but also in passion with, anything from  Erdem’s line would be the perfect choice for the dance. The line is filled with murky florals, which are his signature, but the designs and accessories are so openly seductive and sensual that one wouldn’t resist the urge to dance while wearing them. Inspired by Adele Astaire, it embodies that old Hollywood glam, the rebellious side of it, and everything from the floral suits to high-slit dresses and the dotted stockings is an homage to fierce femininity and the celebration of the femme fatale.


Almost Victorian

Finally, one of the largest impacts was made by the Turkish designer Bora Aksu. From the collars and bows on his blouses and dresses, the ruffles on the full-length gowns and the fitted blazers with strategically placed brooches, there is almost something Victorian about his line. If you’ve ever read Pride and Prejudice or Wuthering Heights, you are familiar with the touch of darkness present in the romantic plots, and sometimes the darkness even takes over completely. This is exactly what this line represents – romance intertwined with mystery and darkness, and if you could drag Cathy or Elizabeth out of the pages and throw them into our world, there is no doubt that this line is what they’d be wearing.  

Article by: Claire Hastings fashion editor at Dolce Placard.  Follow her on twitter