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Simone Rocha, Ostwald Helgason, Haizhen Wang

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Simone Rocha AW13

If you’ve always wanted to do ladylike but never quite been able to bring yourself to wear a twinset and pearls then you may have a (very young) fairy godmother in Simone Rocha. Her AW13 collection, shown on the last morning of London Fashion Week, was a confection of sweetshop colours and naughty detail cut into subversively grown up form. Lemon, buttercream, bubblegum pink and nude dominated the colour palette whilst the twists came courtesy of leopard fur and nonchalant veils twisted into models’ hair.

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Youthful sheer broderie made another appearance – following on from the bright Lolita-esque versions in her SS13 collection – and the contrast of the prim shapes with the full frontal nudity was wonderfully liberating. Drop waists, loose fits, bustled fabric and apron fronted skirts kept the collection on the ladylike line, whilst PVC, chunky full on fur and glitter brogues ensured it was also playful, sexy, cool. 


Ostwald Helgason AW13

The presentation for London based designers Susanne Ostwald and Ingvar Helgason showcased a preppy collection of tailored separates, sweatshirts, dresses and baseball caps in a hothouse environment. Necks were high – buttoned up collars, thick roll neck sweaters – hemlines were short and the cutting was androgynous.

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The fabrics, however, were far from shy and retiring, with a dominance of baroque florals in royal blue and sumptuous gold, glimmering bronze and punchy cobalt, and an abundance of shimmer and shine. Trousers featured stand out side panels – not plain but a contrasting print in monochrome or more baroque twists – whilst sweatshirts were emblazoned with images from the sublime to the ridiculous: French poet Charles Baudelaire and Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. If you want to look sharp without taking yourself too seriously next season, then you have a friend in Ostwald and Helgason.

Haizhen Wang AW13

The last official catwalk of London Fashion Week was the first solo on-schedule show of Haizhen Wang, graduate of Central Saint Martins and The London College of Fashion, and formerly of Max Mara, Boudicca and All Saints. His AW13 looks drew inspiration from architecture, particularly gothic buildings and their multi-faceted construction, as well as the contrast between masculine and feminine characteristics. Models wore warrior like blue markings, and visors down for battle, and there were choker style necklaces and armour like jewellery that even extended to a metal chest plate. Wang’s trademark tailored jackets made a very definite appearance in blacks, reds and browns, and we loved the overcoat with red piping on the seams that opened the show.

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Texture and fabric combinations were everywhere: puffa coats with tweed panels, ribbing against leather, a fluid coat over tight metallic trousers. There was very much a feel of the crusader to the collection although it was paired with chic fluidity and smart tailoring, which combined gave that casual wear look an edgy twist. It was certainly a very wearable, as well as covetable, collection – although we might save the visors for hungover days.


HW show report: Jade Stokes

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