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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Chloe Street and Joe Bromley

8 trends to know from London Fashion Week AW23

London is known around the world as a hub of creativity and cool, and never was that more evident than this weekend, when London Fashion Week took the capital by storm.

Exciting new names like Standing Ground and TOVE joined the schedule, there were runway returns from the likes of Emilia Wickstead and ASAI and Daniel Lee debuted his much-anticipated first collection for Burberry. There were viral moments and celeb-studded bashes and many many excellent clothes - here are some of the key trends to know for autumn/ winter 2023.

Wednesday Addams effect

Bora Aksu (Bora Aksu)

Jenna Ortega’s troubled teen in Netflix’s Wednesday was watched by 150 million households in three weeks. London’s designers were some of them, and the goth girl effect has rippled across the runways. Bora Aksu picked her as his muse, sending models with Addams-inspired signature pigtails, black bonnets, jet lips and a stream of Victoriana-style, charcoal lace gowns as an homage. “Wednesday Addams’ unique and unconventional personality has resonated with many who feel like outsiders. Her style stands for the rejection of the established norm,” Aksu said. At Simone Rocha, Ella Emhoff modelled a dark monochrome embellished dress and bomber. Edward Crutchley punctuated his show with all black, satin looks and shades while Chet Lo sent a sinister hooded red and black gown down the catwalk. Here’s to more macabre.

Eyes on the ties

S.S.Daley (S.S.Daley)

Fix up, look sharp; ties are trending for autumn 2023. The street style set knotted Prada’s black tie over crisp white shirts tucked into jeans and kilts, or wore printed pieces peeking from three-piece suiting. At S.S. Daley black sequin ties jazzed up heavy duty Herringbone tweed coats while David Koma used simple black skinny ties to offset the sexiness of sheer crystal mini skirts and groin-grazing black tuxedo dresses. “A tie is a classic attribute to men’s attire - it symbolises business, formality and uniform,” said Koma, who took inspiration from androgynous dressing pioneer Marlene Dietrich. “It gives a stripped back sharpness and masculine touch to feminine textures.”

Canary yellow

Richard Quinn (Richard Quinn)

Fashion loves a zingy hue and this season canary yellow was impossible to ignore. Richard Quinn’s off-the-shoulder taffeta gown was primed and ready to dazzle at the Oscars, while Huishan Zhang threw a Big Bird blazer over a canary yellow crochet midi. David Koma’s canary coat came floor-skimming and paired with crystal-covered knee-high boots. “It’s a sugar rush,” said Koma. ”It adds an extra level of intensity.” Erdem Moralıoğlu had an electrifying yellow gown and a puff-sleeved two piece. “I was thinking a lot about the Victorian methods of creating dyes, vibrant colours that often turned out to be toxic,” Erdem said. “I was fascinated by the idea of something being so beautiful but also deadly.”

Novelty Prints

Christopher Kane (Christopher Kane)

Puzzling prints and kooky references made for the buzziest looks this week. Every editor’s Instagram story had a snap of Christopher Kane’s barnyard-chic neoprene dresses on Sunday. Gowns came covered with yellow chicks and white mice, but best in show was one adorned with bright pink piglets. “I was interested in working animals, the piglet dress was made using AI-generated tech,” Kane said. “These animal prints you will either love or hate”. The trend for Marmite dressing continued with JW Anderson, who sent one model out in a Tesco bag romper, and Robyn Lynch who made ironic, doodled clover pattern knits. “We researched the naffest Irish t-shirts we could find, and flipped it on its head to take ownership of it,” she said. Time to embrace poor taste?

Skirt n’ Sweats

Conner Ives (Shutterstock)

In the market for a quick fix styling trick using what’s already in your wardrobe? Several London designers made the case for throwing everyday knits over party-ready skirts. Christopher Kane styled his pouffy PVC peplum minis with grey schoolgirl jumpers, while Emilia Wickstead paired a super smart floral jacquard pencil skirt with an oversized red v-neck knit. “The sweater has a kind of Nineties, slightly off-kilter, grungy feel, elevating the everyday,” said Wickstead. Conner Ives’ muse was a Melrose Girl. “Walking home from a party the next morning. A hoodie over some glitzy look, high and low.” The hoody in question was a vintage one he sourced and applied a Swarovski motif onto; the skirt was Demi-couture, bits of Eighties sequin blouses cut up and then embroidered back onto a base.

Fluid floor-length dresses

TOVE (Getty Images)

Seriously sophisticated fluid floor-length gowns made up the best of the black tie offering this week. Talent incubator Fashion East hosted Standing Ground’s debut catwalk, with signature long dresses and delicate, hand-moulded details. “There is something priestess and ritual about a long length — it’s elevating and powerful,” designer Michael Stewart said. At Roksanda’s intimate catwalk in Claridge’s, satin ballgowns came in rose and metallic silver shades, with an added avant garde element of asymmetric, over-head draping. New label TOVE, founded by the ex-head of Buying and the ex-head of Design for Topshop, made its LFW debut with a pared-back, elegant collection that numbered several floor-length slinky dresses, with a yellow long-sleeved viscose-jersey number a highlight. “It’s a beautifully classic silhouette, with gentle fluidity that would look great dressed down under a winter coat, transferring with ease to an effortless evening look, worn with a flat or heel,” said co-founder Holly Wright.

Crystal kisses

David Koma (AFP via Getty Images)

The classic voluptuous red lip was given extra va-va-voom, as designers stocked up on ruby crystals to bedazzled their model’s mouths. At Harris Reed, black velvet and gold lamé gowns had sparkling flashes of rouge courtesy of make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury’s niece Sofia, who had her team applying gems backstage at Tate Modern. David Koma betted on a similar beauty look, but had MUA Patrick Glatthaar do bottom bedazzled lips which met bejewelled, faux cigarettes on the runway. These are perfect for pecking, but a choking hazard in the instance of a snog. Those concerned should look to Liverpudlian designer Talia Byre’s just as sensual runway red lips, which came glossy with a dark ombre at the lip creases to ultimate trompe-l’œil plumping effect.

Top-heavy dressing

16Arlington (Getty Images)

The top takeaway for party girl’s this season is to drop the bottoms. It is a bold move, but one made by the designers who count It-girl set Ella Richards, Pixie Geldof and Lady Mary Charteris as clients. Nensi Dojaka made bare legs her focal point, pairing with long-sleeved leotards with transparent mesh skirts. At 16Arlington, Marco Capaldo paired feathery sweater vests and boxy blazers with micro shorts so tiny we’ll call them briefs, while Ahluwalia’s standout was a geometric-knit bodysuit paired only with tights. “Slowly but surely, society is going through a much-needed phase of body positivity, embracing all shapes and sizes. I think that anyone who feels comfortable having their legs out should do this!” Priya Ahluwalia said. Fast-rising Turkish designer Dilara Fındıkoğlu then took the trend to new extremes on Monday. Models pulled their skirts down to bare their knickers in the middle of the runway. It’s a move best avoided in the club.

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