Report by Susanna Lau
It’s a fun game to play spot the Sophie Hulme bag at London Fashion Week. Thanks to stockists like Asos and Selfridges, Hulme’s distinctive leather totes and shoulder bags with gold-plate detailing have garnered a loyal fan base. It won’t be long, though, before Hulme becomes similarly well known for her clothing, judging by the presentation we saw yesterday. The giant skeleton of a tyrannosaurus clued us up to the cute motif Hulme had picked up on. The toy T. rex appeared on beautiful wool lace, in the military goldwork, as well as on a brass charm that Hulme produces every season.
A/W 12 has also given Hulme an opportunity to mix ribbed knit and goatskin in slick outerwear and to play with Fair Isle knits and mohair embroidery. Her bags, of course, are still a standout, with an introduction of textured leathers and eelskins – but she has also added a collection of suitcases to her accessory arsenal, thanks to a collaboration with Globe-Trotter.
Hulme’s quietly assured clothing and sleek accessories contrasted with Fred Butler’s collection that was shown later in the day. With a title of Tank Top-Ranking, Tongue-Tied and Twisted, it was bound to be a riot. I got a bit overexcited by the little mini-cakes made to look like sushi in the goody bag and, it turns out, the colour palette was based on sushi – wasabi greens, pickled ginger pinks and caviar coral oranges. Swirling stitches in a quilted ski jacket evoked sushi rolls.
Butler also debuted a knitwear line, made in collaboration with EDE, that offered the perfect pastel undergarments for her macramé- knotted belts and body pieces.