The Scene: A showcase of three London fashion up-and-comers—Louise Alsop, Helen Lawrence and Ashley Williams—all bubbling over with creative spirit and energy.
The Inspiration: For Alsop, it appeared to be crumpled paper; for Lawrence, the chance to play with fabric form and color; Ashley Williams used cool kitsch as her starting point.
Louise Alsop's subtle prints may be a good thing to focus on: pairing the look of slightly crumpled paper and a standard long-sleeved dress was delightfully trippy but still accessible. Blocks of cool colors and slightly off-center blocks of graphics were used to great effect. Alsop focuses on silhouettes that are easy, but patterns and details that are eye-catching.
Helen Lawrence's thing is playing with shape—colorblocked dresses with a slime-effect hem that manages to hit at the natural waist, the hips and the upper thigh. Fabric interplay was also an important aspect: denim stitched-up tunic paired with felted wool pants, a slightly fringey blazer/sweater hybrid with high-water jeans. It's a look that's challenging and a bit daring without being truly out-there.
- Ashley Williams, who showed as part of the Fashion East program last season, focused on quirky prints on familiar silhouettes. An animal theme emerged, as models walked down the runway in cat-decorated sweaters, jeans and sequined strappy dresses. Williams also included a fun horse applique—complete with suede fringe "hair"—on a dress, silver skirt and a pair of leather jackets.
The Accessories: Alsop sent her models down the runway with shoes in black and white and a few similarly colored clutches. Same deal at Helen Lawrence save for a few wrist warmers. Ashley Williams went with bags shaped like scared black cats and milk-maiden-esque bonnets, updated.
The Beauty: Matted bangs and the I-just-cried look at Alsop; alternating purple glitter eyeliner (or bare faces) at Helen Lawrence. Ashley Williams pumped the retro vibes up to 11 with filled-in Twiggy lower-eyelash enhancements.
The Takeaway: If this is the future of British fashion, we're excited.