Grown Up Glam Rock. Hillier Bartley AW19

What can you expect from Hillier Bartley for autumn-winter 2019? Stunning tailoring that’s Savile Row quality, but with a twist (think double-breasted houndstooth suit punked up with a zipper across the waist and matching pants in origami pleat). A smart clash of fashion references, from Kansai Yamamoto (look at the prints inspired with his work) to the bold New Romantics’ movement from 70s London. And brilliant eveningwear that spans from a gorgeous line-up of tailoring to a V-neck maxi-lenght gown in red (worn over a purple turtleneck – love this colour palette). Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier keep the vision of their brand consistent, yet at the same exciting. While Luella works closely with the clothes, Katie does the accessories. Look at the trapeze-shaped “cassette” bags – they look elegant, but sharp, grown-up, but glam. Just like the collection itself.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

It’s a Ball. Richard Quinn AW19

Since the Queen herself took a seat front row at Richard Quinn’s show exactly a year ago, the designer’s show is a must-see show in London, that’s for sure. While the majority of the looks were all about Quinn’s signature, bold floral prints, the first looks were coats in tartan plaid and houndstooth – nothing more British than that. But then, when you go through the next looks, you might realise they don’t differ strongly from this what we’ve seen in the last seasons from Richard. What seemed to be a novelty was black latex, used for long gloves and tights that peaked from underneath the over-sized ball dresses and equally voluminous lady-like coats. I thought it looked restricting and uncomfortable on the models, through. Couture touches are Quinn’s specialty: black tulle went with gorgeously embroidered dresses and the feathered ‘hoods’ that closed the show were the ultimate highlights. Still, hope to see the designer slightly change his repertoire next season, as he gets repetitive.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Time for Fantasy. JW Anderson AW19

Jonathan Anderson’s autumn-winter 2019 collection was a play with construction. From the architectural grey coats and statuesque shoulder pads to fluid-like drapes and airy, over-sized frocks, this was a JW Anderson line-up, where you can actually turn to a number of completely different things. Also, as it turned out, Anderson wanted to go ‘fashion’ this season, in this today rare, uplifting, statement-making manner. “The idea of a woman walking on clouds – this idea of fantasy and imagination in fashion,” he backstage. “I mean, that’s why we do it.” While the last few shows he presented for women at his namesake brand felt overly sophisticated, this one was a like a much-needed, carefree moment. Not ridiculous or pretentious, but joyous and with a bit of distance.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Kinky Things. Christopher Kane AW19

Christopher Kane loves the topic of sex in fashion. If you think of some of his previous seasons’ sex-related hits – like the lace, C-string details or the illustrations from ‘Joy of Sex’ book placed all over the dresses – it’s clear that Kane understands sexuality quite differently than majority of other designers. It’s nothing shallow or obvious, that’s for sure. The autumn-winter 2019 collection was about kinky fetishes, of all sorts. Latex, chainmail elements, leather, lace, even fantasies on food and balloons (conveyed in cheeky prints), were intriguingly incorporated into brilliant garments, like a lady-like coat or an evening gown. The fluid-filled plastic details, that appeared on Kane’s runway a couple of years ago, had something slinky about them, but they were far from tacky. However, if you’re not crazy for kink, feel free to pull the theme apart, and here we are with a collection filled with gorgeous daywear (see the cardigans, knee-length skirts and shirting) and equally good eveningwear. But then… why not go a bit down the risky path?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.