The London Designer Exhibition/Designer Showrooms,
180 The Strand,
September 7th – 11th 2018.
To see so many photographers on the street at the major venues for London Fashion Week was certainly reassuring. Because fashion is a fickle thing, it is creative, alive, exciting and yet very fragile, and ’the following’ can come and go at a whim. Once again major names returned to the catwalk, followed by a host of fashion buyers and international press, including Anna Wintour (who I saw) running from show to show into a waiting taxi, so you had to be quick to get the pic! But London’s clever dressing and sassy street style was great, and kept us all ‘on our toes’.
The designer catwalk shows are the main attraction in London. The majority are held within two main venues. The Store, at 180 The Strand, a central hub that houses the Designer Showrooms & static exhibition, whilst the more offbeat and young designers show under the ‘Fashion Scout’ banner at Freemasons Hall in Great Queens Street (opposite Stephen Jones’ shop).
This season five milliners/hatmakers presented spring/summer collections at ‘The Store’, in a small concrete hall two floors down, not the most perfect of venues!
Paul Stafford and his wife Serina Horshi were showing their ‘The Season Hats’ brand within NewGen (New Generation) a small number of talented designers handpicked for their creativity by the British Fashion Council. Their new product was a range of simple geometric shapes made from backed faux silk dupion. The pieces were laser-cut and riveted together to form clean simple lines, available in numerous single or dual colours. www.theseasonhats.com
Next summer’s collection from Stephen Jones was entitled “Parfum”, a sentimental diary capturing the essence and aromas of his favourite fragrances. It included small groups of hats and headpieces that could be ‘fresh and zesty’ or ‘floral and feminine’ incorporating new techniques and contemporary additions. www.StephenJonesMillinery.com
William Chambers, one of the UK’s most successful commercial milliners, showed a collection loosely based on the work of Victorian painter Marianne North, who travelled the world painting flowers and fauna. The collection had a classic – even tailored feel – and yet retained the William Chambers ‘handwriting’. Perfect for his Royal Ascot customers. www.williamchambers.co.uk
Merve Bayindir showed here once again with a collection entitled ‘Whispers of Sensations’. There were floral themes and a touch of vintage, using buntal, parisisal and silk abaca. She commented, as other milliners had, that the show had not been as well supported from buyers as in the past and thought that being two floors down certainly didn’t help. www.mervebayindir.com
Irish milliner Laura Kinsella showed for the second time, with a small collection across two different skills. First was a collection made from millinery wire wound with threads of Irish linen and finished with small Japanese beads. The second was of headpieces made from straw braid using folding techniques. www.laurakinsella.com