Comfortably Overdressed: How London Fashion Week Sold Us On Practical Glamour

Who says you can't wear sequins for a walk in the park?

More from London Fashion Week
20 articles
AW18 Hair Accessories
Every Seriously Pretty Fashion Week Hair Accessory
Every Major Hair Look From Fashion Week AW18
Every Make-Up Look From Fashion Week AW18

While the weather dithered between Winter and Spring and we contemplated a future without Christopher Bailey at the Burberry helm, there was one thing for certain at London's AW18 show season - glamour and excess is going absolutely nowhere.

The 'more is more' trend, which has been on a steady incline for the last few seasons, finally reached fever pitch on February's catwalks; a sweet and sparkly antidote to the political and social insecurity which is the current zeitgeist.


Sequins, silk, frothy tulles, ruffles and liquid-like gossamers have acted as small solace against a constant backdrop of 'breaking news' notifications, providing moments of light relief and punctuating powerful protests against political conservatism.

Marta Jakubowski AW18

Typically 'feminine' shapes, cuts and fabrics have been repeatedly adopted as a celebration of the multi-faceted female experience - helping us to eschew the notion of a man's world and rejecting traditional binaries.

Now, with glamour and decadence firmly woven into fashion's current tapestry, the glitz-aesthetic took on a new riff for AW18. By using cosy companion accessories, heavily deconstructed tailoring, practical pairings with a big dollop of attitude, designers like Ashley Williams, Simone Rocha, Molly Goddard and more showed us how to be comfortably overdressed.

Cosy Companions

Ashley Williams A/W18

Faux fur and fluffy friends were everywhere this season. Ashley Williams showed furry sliders, and equipped the busts of leather dresses with feather trims, rooting the collection in humour and grunge.

Simone Rocha AW18

Simone Rocha offset her intricate, Victoriana gowns with faux-fur bags and shoes, lending the hyper-feminine dresses a light-heartedness.


And Preen echoed Rocha with vibrantly dyed sheepskin shoes and bags.

Preen AW18

Deconstructed Dressing

Central Saint Martins A/W18

An impeccably-tailored suit or a cut-to-perfection dress will never not be in style, but this season, as a reaction to the seriousness of life, designers were playing with form and construction, tearing apart our notions of formalwear and challenging us to look at things from a different, more flirtatious angle.

Central St Martins showed off a range of slipless dresses, while Ashley Williams colluded in the idea that underwear is most certainly optional.

House of Holland AW18

House of Holland's girl was intrepid and adventure-bound - not caring if a hike ripped her midi dress - whilst Halpern's woman had simply danced off a part of her outfit.

Halpern AW18

Molly Goddard's woman, never afraid to throw on a ballgown for a trip to the pub, seemed to have put a look together with borrowed clothes, be it a too-tiny top or an oversized dress. It was as if she'd danced until she'd dropped (at a friend's house) and woken up to continue the party in a slightly different combination of items, pulling off the new get-up with irreverence and aplomb.

Molly Goddard A/W18

What this shows us is that AW18's woman rejects the idea of insta-perfection. She'll recycle it, cut it up and wear it backwards if he has to.

Practically Paired

Perhaps the most easily-achievable element of down-to-earth glamour is a spin off trend that involves pairing OTT costume pieces with items of complete practicality.

House of Holland AW18

Henry Holland, for example, refashioned climbing ropes as belts and paired pretty dresses with clompy walking boots.

Toga heroed a handbag that looked like a sleeping bag, and JW Anderson's hardy trainers looked like they could walk a thousand miles and then a thousand more.

Toga AW18

Preen delivered the brilliant oxymoron of a haute-cagoule, which had us, similarly strangely, craving rainier days and, in Christopher Bailey's explosive final show, archive caps appeared to shield models faces from the brightest of lights of his LGBTQ+ dedicated laser rainbow.

Preen AW18

Dressing fabulously is all good and well, but this was a nod to clothes that also let you live.

Bringing The Attitude

Osman AW18

Practical glamour, it would seem, should always be served with a side of fun. There's no point to a glittery jumpsuit if the wearer seems like a bore.

Early Saturday morning, editors, writers and bloggers alike were delighted when Osman hosted the ultimate living-room party, complete with rowdy guests and carby snacks.

Michael Halpern and Honey Dijon at the Halpern x Browns party at Five Guys

Later that evening, Halpern and Browns treated guests to a Five Guys party, with alcoholic milkshakes, because nothing goes down with an asymmetric gown like a brioche bun and pickle.

Marta Jakubowski A/W18

Marta Jakubowski took us back to the golden age of modelling, as her models twirled and grinned their way down the runway to Whitney Houston.

So when the alerts are threatening to give your mobile phone a migraine, it might be a great moment to delve into a digital detox, if even just for a night and, while you're at it, to remember that you're never fully dressed without a smile.

More from ELLE UK: