London fashion: 70s vibe at Mouret, glamour from Temperley
BY SYLVIA HUI
Feb. 18, 2018
LONDON (AP) — Could fusty-looking tapestry and army boots look desirable? Roland Mouret and Temperley worked their magic at London Fashion Week catwalk shows Sunday, showcasing their latest womenswear styles for the upcoming autumn and winter season alongside other designers.
Some highlights from Day 3 of the fashion week:
DIALED-DOWN SENSUALITY AT ROLAND MOURET
If there's a man who can make seemingly drab floral tapestry and thick corduroy look chic and desirable, it's Roland Mouret.
The French designer, renowned for his signature body-sculpting dresses, turned what could have been fusty sofa upholstery fabrics into sophisticated full-length capes and jackets.
Mouret, who is friends with Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle, is one of the designers tipped to take on the top secret job of making her wedding dress. There were no clues on his runway at London's National Theatre, which was dominated by a 1970s-inspired, dialed-down luxe look of blazers, day dresses and light knits in a palette of autumnal hues.
There were corduroy double-breasted blazers and coats in wine and soft pink, wide leg trouser suits, fluffy wool capes worn over sheer black lace blouses and dresses, and handkerchief hem crepe skirts. The tailored look, so popular this winter, is still going strong, with several outfits in the very trendy Prince of Wales grey check.
"There is practicality in femininity, and femininity is a woman's greatest power," the designer said of the brand's new aesthetic — a much softer look than the sex-bomb appeal Mouret was known for a decade ago. Coming at a time when the overt objectification of women seems passe, the message seems just right.
AVIATOR CHIC AND FULL-ON GLAMOUR AT TEMPERLEY
From military combats to all-over sequined party frocks, Temperley's latest catwalk show has something for everyone.
Designer Alice Temperley, who counts the Duchess of Cambridge among her many fans, has won many fans for her ladylike, delicate dresses. So it was surprising when she opened her show with a cool military green aviator suit, albeit one with stylish cropped trousers and a flattering cinched-in waist.
Temperley was inspired by the first female aviators, and the whole collection had a romantic, vintage feel to it. Lace-up army boots and military-inspired jackets continued the aviator theme, though the designer soon returned to more familiar territory with a parade of silk evening gowns replete with sequins, intricate embroidery and opulent gold.
Those looking for the perfect party outfit are spoiled for choice: there are flowing bias cut dresses with a thigh-high front slit, sheer nude dresses adorned with sequined stripes, art deco patterns that hark back to the 1920s, and silk blazers and dresses with a colorful oriental-inspired cloud print. One kimono-wrap jumpsuit dazzled in an iridescent fabric that shimmered both gold and silver.
"There're lots of influences, 1930s, a bit of '70s Ziggy Stardust feel to it. I loved it," ''Homeland" actor Damien Lewis, who attended with his wife, Helen McCrory, said after the show.
ALL-OVER SILVER AT MARGIELA
Away from the main runways, MM6, the subsidiary line of Maison Margiela, invited journalists for a drink at a pub. Not just any pub, of course — but one covered floor to ceiling in silver foil.
Part conceptual art exhibition and part fashion show, the French luxury design house painstakingly wrapped every surface of a London watering hole in foil — from walls and furniture to the beer glasses, tap and bottles behind the bar. Guests marveled, mingled and took phone photos among 19 silver-clad models posing like statues on pedestals placed around the room.
One of the staff members in white lab coats said the team started the pub's wrap job on Friday and "didn't finish until 10 minutes before the show" on Sunday.
Many of the models' outfits resembled space suits, and there were very eccentric touches: A motorcycle helmet used as a bag, disco ball mirrors as jewelry. But on closer inspection many of the garments were silver versions of Margiela staples, like a pleated skirt, jeans and a rain coat.
The display drew big crowds of international fashionistas, and the dozens lining up to get into the tiny pub became a fashion week spectacle in itself.