Twenty-six-year-old Central Saint Martins alumnus Matty Bovan has a penchant for vibrant patterns and sculptural knitwear. Having won the LVMH Graduate Prize in 2015, he briefly worked at Louis Vuitton as a junior designer before being invited last year to show his first collection at London Fashion Week, presenting at Fashion East. Bovan’s SS18 collection was typical of the designer’s flamboyant style, featuring raw-edged knitted tabard tops with eye-popping neon pockets and Brillo Pad patches. Influenced by 1960s Pop Art and sci-fi cinema, Bovan strove to create “a parallel world of post-apocalyptic utopianism”. Not to mention he had the biggest names in the model industry walking in the show: Edie Campbell, Winnie Harlow and Hailey Baldwin, to name but a few.
The British fashion industry held its breath in anticipation of Michael Halpern and his namesake brand’s first show to be held in London. The 29-year-old Parsons and Central Saint Martins graduate has swiftly gained attention for his sequinned designs and glamorous agenda. His SS18 collection did not disappoint. Halpern drew his inspiration from the jungle, showcasing luxuriant embellished dresses, snakeskin jackets and slinky, shimmering draped dresses (made in collaboration with Parisian embroiderer Atelier Montex and Swarovski crystal). And the prestigious collaborations didn’t stop there. The shoes were created with Christian Louboutin, and the models strutted down the runway to the music of Michel Gaubert, the legendary Parisian DJ who soundtracks Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton.
The Irish-born designer has settled into London nicely, having relocated from Paris a few seasons ago. Her shows are usually staged within lofty halls with high ceilings (this SS18 it was a church in north London) that match her simple yet powerful aesthetic. The inspiration for her collection? Wauchob’s first trip to Paris, where she discovered Parisian couture through the eyes of 1990s minimalism. This was certainly apparent as the models walked out one by one, each with a feel of relaxed decadence. Wauchob’s love for outerwear was apparent throughout, with trenchcoats featuring exaggerated lapels, and spliced hand-embroidered floral silk long coats. Sleeve-length shirt collars added a quirky origami feel to the mix and Victorian-style ruffles draped effortlessly off cuffs, skirts and dresses.
Molly Goddard skipped into London Fashion Week in 2014 with princess tulle dresses and puffball shapes galore. Dover Street Market in London instantly ordered dresses from the collection, as did the store I.T in Hong Kong, and Goddard wasn’t even on the actual schedule. Since then, her core values have remained the same; comfy, cosy designs that exaggerate the shape of the body. Having won the British Emerging Talent Award at the Fashion Awards last December, all eyes were on her this season. Goddard’s SS18 show was inspired by the everyday girl, who the designer described as “on her way to a gallery opening and then for a steak”. The show was a mix of densely gathered cotton dresses and heavy black boots (Little House on the Prairie came to mind). However, there was also a sprinkle of 1980s disco glamour. Closing the event in a sack dress covered in enlarged silver sequins, model Erin O’Connor smiled and twirled, while the boot-stamping music by The Earthlings played in the background.