While London Fashion Week may be known for its experimental and creative
designs, one thing that has shined through, quite literally this season is
the ultra-glam, with tulle, sequins, feathers and couture techniques
bringing a touch of red carpet luxury to autumn/winter 2020.
Tulle was seen in abundance at Molly Goddard, the London Fashion Week
favourite has become know for her sugary tulle ballgowns and this season
she added menswear for the first time, inspired by her boyfriend, Tom. The
tailored check trousers, separates and suiting, were sent down the catwalk
alongside shimmering and billowing floor-length tulle and taffeta gowns
styled over chunky jumpers and Fair Isle cardigans.
The colours and prints were perfect for her frothy creations from
electric blue to sugary pink, lemon, red, and even a floral-camo hybrid
Images: courtesy of Molly Goddard by Ben Broomfield
While Ashley Williams took inspiration from the stars of the silver
screen from Scarlett O’Hara to Jessica Rabbit and Cinderella for her
autumn/winter 2020 collection filled with oversized tulle gowns, graphic
airbrushed T-shirts, puffball party frocks and cutesy cartoon. Feathers,
diamanté, bugle beads and exaggerated bows embellish every quiet moment
into what the designer described as a “cacophony of curated chaos”.
There was also a sustainability edge to the collection as Willians used
old samples and dead stock to up-cycle and down-cycle.
Images: courtesy of Ashley Williams
Bora Aksu is known for his floaty feminine creations and for
autumn/winter 2020 the designer took inspiration from pioneering abstract
artist, Hilma of Klint with a collection filled with ethereal tulle and
organza moments mixed in with layering techniques of embroideries, prints
and textures on romantic lines and shapes.
The collection started with a sombre feel for Bora Aksu with the use of
black, however, it wasn’t long until the Turkish-born designer added a
sense of romance with soft feminine drapes and structured dresses presented
in lilac, orange and yellow, alongside more subtle hues of soft blues and
Images: courtesy of Bora Aksu
Haute couture glamour
Malan Breton brought haute couture to London Fashion Week’s schedule
with his rebirth collection inspired by The Firebird Ballet showcased in
the beautiful St Georges Church in Holborn, which featured everything
ultra-glam from tulle and sequins, to feathers, fringing, and faux fur, as
well as Swarovski crystals.
The London-based, Taiwanese-born, fashion designer presented an
autumn/winter collection that he describes as the “rise of the phoenix”
following his spring/summer 2019 catwalk show that celebrated his 15 years
Much like a ballet, Breton showcased his collection in three striking
acts, from soft blush tones in faux furs and tulle to sparkling creations
featuring Swarovski crystals and reflective fabrics that resemble the
embers of the phoenix, and then onto bursts of fierce reds in vivid silks
that added an intense yet opulent sensation to the collection.
Breton is known for his couture creations, his gowns have been worn by
the likes of Priyanka Chopra, Kerry Washington, Ariana Grande and Aishwarya
Rai Bachchan, and this season the designer explored the techniques of
couture while looking to the future and the importance of sustainability by
using upcycled fabrics and paillettes made from recycled plastics.
Images – courtesy of Malan Breton
While Erdem showcased his romanticised couture glamour with an
autumn/winter 2020 collection inspired by Cecil Beaton glamorous socialite
portraits of the 1920s and 1930s, and the National Portrait Gallery
provided a fitting backdrop, as the London gallery’s upcoming exhibition
explores the extravagant world of the glamorous and stylish ‘Bright Young
Things’ through the eyes of the British photographer.
Erdem used these seductive images, which showcase Beatons transformation
from middle-class suburban schoolboy to society figure and a star of Vogue,
by highlighting the glamour of the era, when “royalty mixed with Bohemia;
high society embraced the avant-garde; men dressed as women and women as
men,” explained the designer in his show notes.
This created beautiful pearl-festooned flapper dresses to silvery lace
dresses, which mimicked the silver foil slicked catwalk, black-and-white
checkerboard prints, rose-patterned brocades, bias-cut satin dresses,
oversized tattoo prints, romantic floral tea dresses and tailored suits.
Images – courtesy of Erdem by Serichai Traipoom
For Mark Fast, autumn/winter 2020 was a homage to the late swinging
Sixties with mini dresses, tailoring, shag pile coats, and gorgeous
glamorous floor-sweeping open back gowns crafted from crochet with his
This was a collection that mixed Fast’s couture creations with youthful
streetstyle sportswear, as the designer continues to expand into a full
lifestyle brand, with cami-graffiti showcased alongside neon pops of
yellow, pink and green, which was balanced beautifully alongside his
glamour-filled mini dresses and red carpet looks.
Images – courtesy of Mark Fast
There was a touch of 1980s glamour on the catwalk with designers
bringing bold sequins back, from Burberry’s seductive dresses and
iridescent pencil skirts to Huishan Zhang that sent everything down the
catwalk covered in sequins, while Christopher Kane smothered sheer knits
and party dresses with paillettes.
The boldest sequin display came from Ashish who was on a mission to
bring joy with his high-energy autumn/winter 2020 collection that was
filled with rainbow chintz across tailored jackets, halter neck jumpsuits,
and dresses featuring polka dots, geometric patterns, zebra stripes,
leopard spots and over the top florals.
In past seasons sequins have been minimally used, this season the
designer returns to sequins with renewed aplomb, with larger paillettes
layered to showcase beautiful movement and to add a bold polka dot effect
especially seen on the striking oversized yellow ballgown, alongside
granular sequins beaded on slinky cocktail dresses.
“Using sequins has always been an act of rebellion,” said Ashish in the
show notes. “It’s a medium that people aren’t necessarily vert kind to, but
there’s something so joyous about it.”
Images: courtesy of Ashish
Instagram-favourite Olivia Rubin continued the joy with her penchant for
rainbows and multicoloured sequins for her fun catwalk show that saw the
models strutting down the runway to nostalgic 80’s music playlist selected
by her brother.
This fun tone to the music was brought to life with the her polka dot
and pearl adorned pieces, showcased alongside tie-dye ombre, animal print
hearts, rainbow chevrons and sequin checks. In addition, Rubin also
presented her first coat, a pastel affair combining pink and purple,
alongside her collection of dresses and knitwear.
Images: courtesy of Olivia Rubin