Edited by Josh de la Mare. Images from Getty and Reuters.
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London Fashion Week is known for its eclecticism, but there was still a strong consensus on the key looks for next season. For next spring's April showers, rain wear has been given a new luxury look. The plastic fantastic [? Mac ?] appeared at Burberry in a full-length check and at Christopher Kane in a ladylike floral printed peppermint with elaborate crystal buttons. At Anya Hindmarch, a housecoat-like retro quilted parka is inspired by suburbia and evoked world of hostess trolleys and sleeping in your curlers.
Mary Katrantzou, Jasper Conran, and Emporio Armani offered functional wind cheaters and parkas with bright shades of sunshine yellow, apple green, and candyfloss pink.
At Henry Holland and Emporio Armani, playful shells and seabed shapes were there to give a summery twist to dresses and jackets. But other labels used embroidery and embellishment to send hidden messages. The Preen show addressed women's freedom, and an embroidered A on a white shirt and dress referenced the 19th century novel The Scarlet Letter.
Little red figures holding hands were sewn onto Victorian-style dresses at Simone Rocha, where the designer was inspired by China dolls and said, "I wanted to do something very innocent, playful, and naive, and that's where the motif came from." Hussein Chalayan was using the slow craft of embroidery as a comment on the speed of digital communication and our obsession with branding the self.
In contrast to intense decoration, many labels were going back to basics with simple artisanal fabrics and crafty detailing. Jonathan Anderson said he was focusing on everyday materials, and he showed smocked crop-tops and skirts in linen, as well as a white skirt with a red border, which looked like the model had wrapped a restaurant's glass-drying cloth around her waist.
Erdem's checked tweed dress came with tufty edges. Roksanda Ilincic used a raw method of weaving cotton. And Pringle's sand and white jumper with an unravelling hem looked as if it had been fashioned from rope on a desert island.