What a good old British riot the Fashion East show was this afternoon! With a front row as enthusiastic as the clothes – you couldn’t help but fall in love all over again with the eccentricity and individuality that London Fashion Week has always been so adored for. Yes, yes, we very much like our sleeker grown-up designers that are also nurtured within our fine schedule, but what a hoot to see fresh talent in full, fun force, delighting the crowds with young, cool clothes that err on crazy, but have the ability to be reined into a regular wardrobe, too.
Pixie Geldof, Nick Grimshaw, Louise Gray (a fellow Fashion East alumnus), Mollie King (random?) and Start London’s Brix Smith Start made for a Bassetts All-Sorts of a front row, but there was one thing they all had in common – the vocal, gestural and phone-related excitement they all spontaneously released when, say, Ashley Williams’ Elvis print shifts went down the runway at Topshop’s Tate Modern space.
Fashion East founder Lulu Kennedy, who was resplendent in neon yellow Simone Rocha and happily chatting to the FROW before the show began, has been picking up new London talent for this non-profit platform for over a decade now, and judging by the major applause that followed all three of today’s designers, her magic touch shows no sign of waning. Here’s a little rundown of what we liked, nay, loved, from each. And if you want to know more about Lulu and her fashion line, Lulu & Co., which she creates in collaboration with her discoveries, then check out House of Grazia’s exclusive chat with the fashion guru.
The vibe: It was called ‘Oh, How Is It To Be Mundane’. Read: gothic/punk subculture undertones. Tim Burton would’ve liked it. We were thrown slightly off track by the use of props – babies, a bag painted and shaped like a fish, and a giant twig. But hey, this is Fashion East, not fashion-slap-bang-in-the-middle-of-normality.
Favourite look: The hand-scrawl on Claire’s black leather gown felt like a signature piece after building her name on intricately hand-painted leather biker jackets.
We’ll be buying: One of the devore velvet dirndl skirts.
The vibe: With references to ‘the girlish and unfulfilled hope of a career-driven singleton’ such as Bridget Jones and Ally McBeal, you can imagine the almost sicky sweet femininity of Lo’s offering.
Favourite look: We have to choose one? The opening pink fluffy skirt suit was so candy-floss delicious you’d almost forget just how much irony it was dosed up with.
We’ll be buying: Grazia’s Fashion Editor Catherine Nieto has first dibs on the blue fluffy faux-fur shaggy coat.
The vibe: Heartbreak hotel! Teen super-fans of the ‘60s who adore their idols so much they’ll dress like them or get dresses that feature them!
Favourite look: Pixie Geldof seem snap-happy over the Elvis crop top and gingham pencil skirt. We agreed.
We’ll be buying: The 1960s orange swing coat with acid green collar.