Dispatches from London: Erdem, Peter Pilotto and more

LFW: Erdem, Peter Pilotto, David Koma, Issa and Ashish

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By: Leisa Barnett Follow @leisabarnett

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Let’s be clear from the off: the dresses at Erdem were incredible. In a show that harked back to an age where occasionwear was something very special indeed, there was no holding back the lavishness and intricacy with which each piece was constructed. Not that there was stuffiness – even given those high collars, which peeled out in structured ruffles – no. After all, these are dresses to be worn for parties (and oh, how we hope to).

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The show opened with a procession of regal, high-necked, black velvet creations with laser-cut edging before they turned gold, and tiny bows ran down from the throat, and floral embroidery and embellishment crept in. The pieces that were cut at the elbow and bejewelled beneath it were inspired, as were the brocades that created trouser suits and dresses out of what looked like shiny, scrunched up sweetie wrappers. Erdem’s narrative continues; we remain rapt.
Peter Pilotto, fresh from the sell-out success of its Target collection, was another tour de force on yesterday’s catwalks. Had the collaboration sapped the creative energies of duo Peter and Christopher Vos there was no hint of it here, where their print-clash signature came combined with mouth-obscuring, fur-trimmed funnel-neck collars and translated into pile-ups of zig-zag intarsia knits in neapolitan shades.
New prints of note were the mountain vista, which stretched out in an evocative purple across a luxy puffa jacket, and a repeated athlete formation. So far, so sporty. But the boys’ cleverest conceit was altogether more sophisticated: translating the idea of print into coloured crystal embellishments that blinged up strictly cut cocktail dresses and ran in panels down the front of lady-like, zip-though wool coats.
Corsetry took took centre stage at David Koma. Inspired by the portrayal of women in the Renaissance-era paintings of a Lucas Cranach the Elder, a leather cage device constricted everything from waists to busts in what was, essentially, a tightly edited study in form.
Surprise of the day? A real - warranted - buzz at Issa. And not because we thought the Duchess of Cambridge might turn up. With a fresh team on board since the label’s last catwalk outing, the brand has had a cool-over. Its new creative lead, Chloé alumnus Blue Farrier, presented a collection inspired by the childhood memory of an eccentric relative’s house, breathing new life into familiar forms. So parquet flooring was translated into abstract strips of colour that dashed across the front of kaftan blouses, and a simplified petal print was stamped in a poppy pink across dresses, trousers, jackets – even down the backs of those gorgeous block-heeled suede sandals. The whole thing felt very Issa without a wrap dress in sight; an impressive achievement indeed.
The day closed on Ashish (which, given the arrival of a Tom Ford sequinned baseball jersey on the catwalk immediately beforehand, seemed particularly serendipitous). This season, it was back to the Eighties, with the designer smattering his signature sparkles across ripped jeans and denim jackets punctuated by giant ruffles rippling from the throat, strapless tulle prom dresses and sporty varsity jackets, joggers and slogan sweats.
There were some very pretty chiffon millefeuille pieces, and a sequin-strapped denim jumpsuit that was essentially two giant ruffles from bust to ankle. We know the drill here. There is always something joyous about marching to the Ashish beat.

See Erdem AW 2014 here

See Peter Pilotto AW 2014 here

See David Koma AW 2014 here

See Issa AW 2014 here

See Ashish AW 2014 here

Read Lorraine Candy's exclusive LFW Blog

See all our coverage of Autumn/Winter 2014

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