While we waited for David Koma’s show to begin, Lena Perminova – she of the endless legs, 1.1 million Instagram followers and wardrobe bursting with couture – strode onto the runway to be photographed. An hour later, the image had 10,000 likes. Wearing a precision-cut Koma jumpsuit, she served as a timely reminder that the Georgian designer has built quite the following of modern young power women, especially in LA, where he has a celebrity following that includes Beyoncé. Looking at his glossy, sexy show, inspired by industrial artist Frank Cota, was a balm to my eyes. In a tight palette of graphite, chrome, white, black and cobalt, the clothes were simple at first glance yet complexly detailed and luxurious, dripping with metal hardware, and with off-kilter thigh splits. A sinuous thigh-split black T-shirt dress, with an elegant fin along the sleeve, did it for me.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
Preen drew upon some excellent muses for this show. Combining the rebel glam of the Runaways’ Joan Jett and Cherie Currie with the prissy chic of Edith Sitwell doesn’t sound very do-able on paper, but the unlikely playoff did work for the most part, and in such a way that Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi injected sexual tension and mischief into the clothes. The show opened with William Morris-esque chintzy blooms, sliced into a series of dresses with tiny bodices and pouffy skirts, all worn with kinky thigh-high suede boots. A black and olive check coat – cut loose, Bloomsbury style – made its model look like a floating lampshade (in a good way). The whole vibe came together in one dress: Cherie loves pink, Edith enjoyed velvet; cue a searing-pink elasticated velvet tube dress, scarred with ruching. “We wanted it to have a rock-star vibe,” said Thornton, “but with romance.” .
Tough and pretty; street smart and adorably undone. Understanding the contrasting quirks of the Fashionable British Girl was task number one for Mulberry’s new Creative Director, Johnny Coca, when he joined the business last year. Historically, Mulberry had this girl down pat. Yesterday she was firmly back in position, stomping along the runway in huge platform shoes tied with criss-crossing orange or yellow ribbons, swinging a Mulberry shopper on her arm, or clutching a mini-bag-meets-glove. The collection majored in streetwear; a lace bomber here, a studded biker there. Softness came with flowing silks, rose prints and a standout pleated shirt in sky-blue. Coca says he was influenced by Shakespeare: “I’m fascinated by his capacity to replicate all echelons of society, from the noble to the nobody. My inspiration is the same diversity and contrast on London streets today.”
Coats, coats and more coats! This was the sign-off to my notes from the Topshop Unique show. Not just a nod to the almost overwhelming number of coats, but to the fact they were all good. From the luscious white fluffy shearling duster coat closing the show, to the generously proportioned, saffron-hued ponyskin trench that, in a flash of styling genius, was paired with a sheer bubblegum-pink lace midi-skirt and leopard jumper. This collection was packed to the gills with sellable product. Witness an opening look featuring grey long-johns – the next casual everyday trouser of choice, now everyone hates on athleisure? Also, no denim. Instead, great wide-leg houndstooth or khaki trousers. And lots of sexy little bra tops dangling with straps hung with each model’s initials: cute. The standout piece in a show full of highlights for me was an oversized black velvet blazer, twinkling with crystal stars.