Fashion & Beauty

A Tale of Two Styles

February’s 2023 London Fashion Week presented audiences and fashion critics alike with two distinct style groups – the ultra-feminine shapes and the oversized, masculine, almost military-like silhouettes. 

The Whimsical Waif

From established designers like Di Petsa and Nensi Dojaka, to some of fresh faces like those who showed on the Fashion’s Finest indie runway, many of the styles at London Fashion Week were effortlessly soft and flowing. Yards and yards of sheer chiffon enveloped the models who flitted down the runways, crowned with flowers or with their natural hair wild with waves and wet-looks. It’s a safe bet that these hyper delicate styles will be seen on red carpets and eventually in high street stores, but not without some changes. Commonly on the runways, the looks are completely sheer, exposing breasts and sometimes even more, and inevitably this will be rectified with panels of satin or silk, or with coordinating undergarments. These looks also tend to sport an excess of material, with trains or miles of draping. Though stunning, this isn’t the most cost effective way to construct a piece, so expect to see one section of the garment, like the sleeves, keep that exaggerated length, while the other portions shrink. If you want to keep ahead of the trends coming out of fashion week, keep an eye out in stores and second-hand shops for chiffon.

Marching to the Beat

On the other side of the coin stand brands like S.S. Daley, JW Anderson, and Mark Fast, who give generously sized structural pieces, which garnered favour with many in the street style scene of London Fashion Week. Oversized menswear on women and floor length coats with disproportionately large shoulder pads were fan favourites, with some creating contrast by adding sequins and feathers. Metallic pieces were also key accessories to this style, serving as a foil to the structured pieces which conjured images of workwear and military uniforms. Readers may already be familiar with this craze, as it’s been in favor with many celebrities for the last year, and it’s definitely not going anywhere any time soon. The best way to hop on this trend is to steal your dad’s blazer, and put on your best pair of gold boots.

The In-Between

Of course, not all brands fell into one of these two categories. Some shunned both to do something completely off the wall, while others, like Roksanda and Erdem, offered a beautifully balanced serving of both concepts. One thing is clear, regardless of which trend you lean towards, or if you fancy a bit of both, London Fashion Week has offered some incredible new designs to inspire you for the new year.

written by CC MASON – Photos by R.L.Meentzen