London hasn’t always gotten as much attention as Europe’s other two fashion capitals, but one thing is for sure, long before bloggers and Instagrammers were obsessed with street style, it was simply in this city’s DNA. From the mods to the punks and The New Romantics, London’s music and cultural scenes have always influenced popular culture at large. It’s no surprise then that the prevailing mood here is that of unique and quirky style with an emphasis on the dark and romantic. Alexander McQueen was a master of both and his vision carries on in the work of Sarah Burton for the house. For fall, Burton took a dreamy approach: Black coats with butterfly and pocket watch appliqués joining artfully deconstructed tuxedos, some with a bondage motif, opened the show, which gradually softened to delicate knit dresses ruffled and bare-shouldered, while Art Deco-like gowns sparkled with beaded moons and stars.
At Erdem, that same sense of dark romance was in action, though here the tone had a distinctly vintage undertone—that of the 1930s and ‘40s. Dresses came softly ruffled, and patch worked with lace or florals, some in panne velvet. Pantsuits were peplummed and embroidered with flowers, as were long coats, while sequined capes and stiff lace pilgrim collars added to the somber yet romantic effect of the Erdem Moralioğlu collection.
Christopher Bailey’s collection for Burberry also captured a uniquely British sort of romanticism, one tinged with glam rock in its use of python and metallics as well as a plethora of reworked military coats and jackets. There is a great deal of fantasy in high fashion, and the English can certainly translate those dreams into reality.