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LFW AW19 Day 1 & 2 
The Trends to Know

17th  February 2019

by Navaz Batliwalla 'DisneyRollerGirl'

On the coattails of New York Fashion Week, the big incoming AW19 news is volume – and lots of it. The abiding memory of the New York finale was of Marc Jacobs’ couture-like trapeze coats, a silhouette that looks set to dominate next winter. London has also been embracing this sense of cocooning and comfort, with the last two days demonstrating some superb feats of creativity and craftsmanship.

SIMONE ROCHA

If you want supersized proportions, then Molly Goddard is your girl. Having built her young business on gigantic tulle confections, this season she showed her pleated gowns and knotted dresses on a catwalk with an integrated air vent, the better to whoosh up the hemlines as the models walked, creating a sense of movement and drama. Simone Rocha continued this quest for experimental volume, serving her signature trenches and Communion dresses with layered satin bralets, a commentary on femininity and sensuality. Her model casting won extra kudos, not just for the diverse mix of body types and ages (including 90s darling Kirsten Owen) but the surprise cameo from indie icon Chloe Sevigny. At the London shows it pays to expect the unexpected.

MOLLY GODDARD

MATTY BOVAN. CREDIT: MATTY BOVAN PRESS TEAM

MATTY BOVAN. CREDIT: MATTY BOVAN PRESS TEAM

On which note, it’s absolutely brilliant to see the masterful craftsmanship and inventive ideas spilling forth from London’s new guard. Matty Bovan, in particular, is making a name for himself as a knitwear wizard, who seamlessly marries arty genius with commercial nous. His show (inspired by mysticism and folklore) saw a bricolage effect of layered handknits, ruffled Liberty print cottons and tulle, accessorised with Coach logo-print leather accessories, a canny collaboration with the U.S mega-brand. The result was both polished and raw and reminiscent of McQueen and Galliano. 

MATTY BOVAN. CREDIT: MATTY BOVAN PRESS TEAM

Ashley Williams was also inspired by magical mystic vibes, albeit with a more tongue in cheek delivery. From the cartoonish giant mushrooms flanking the catwalk, to fertility symbols printed on grungy mohair knits and fleeces, hers was a graphic, nu-hippie take on the trend that should be a sure-fire hit with the youth market. Meanwhile, it’s safe to say that Japanese youth culture is as popular as ever as a point of inspiration for British designers. Ryan Lo looked to the roots of Kawaii culture, specifically the work of illustrator Rune Naito, whose big-haired, Bambi-eyed girls translated into a kitsch but slick collection of 60s-style coats, crochet capes and candyfloss gowns. 

RYAN LO. CREDIT: RYAN LO PRESS TEAM

London’s heritage brands are in the midst of a revival, with all eyes on Burberry, whose first collection under Riccardo Tisci has just started landing in stores. But yesterday saw another important rebrand of sorts. 132-year-old notebook-and-diary brand Smythson is ramping up its accessories under new creative director Luc Goidadin. Previously at Burberry, he showed his vision for bags, scarves, desk, and travel accessories in a whimsical set piece at Somerset House. Think exquisite paper bird sculptures, boats with equestrian-print silk foulards for sails and a vintage desk laden with hand-painted jewellery boxes and notebooks. The bags were a sure-fire winner, with unstructured leather totes, cotton linen Kilim weekenders, and a brilliant new ‘half moon’ bowling bag. It’s a playful take on luxury and craftsmanship that should usher in a new, energised customer. 

SMYTHSON. CREDIT: NAVAZ BATLIWALLA

Check back tomorrow for DisneyRollerGirl's exclusive insight and photographs from LFW AW19 day 3.

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