Anya Hindmarch: Road Play
Anya Hindmarch drove her show into new territory: clothing. This maker of humorous handbags stretched her skills to other products, from knits to pyjamas and fur jackets.
They were all printed with road signs declaring everything from “Free Recovery” or “Give Way”, to the predictable “Stop” and “Go”.
While Anya’s signature handbags had similar messages in leather marquetry, the clothes were also interesting: well thought out, simple, and a useful addition for Hindmarch’s followers.
“I think it’s the most remade we have ever done,” said Christopher Raeburn, referring to a puffer jacket with the original reflective panel from a life raft, which showed off his fashion recycling skills.
The designer called this show, with its naval leanings, “Immerse”, and he might equally have been referring to tailored peacoats created from Danish navel blankets.
The more Raeburn focuses on remade fabrics, the better his collections seem to be. A new sophistication this season drew the collection visually away from salty spray and towards an urban, outdoor elegance.
On the more typical side of wind and surf, bubble effects created an outdoor decoration, while thick knit gloves shaped like sharks brought another sea breeze to the collection.
The Christopher Raeburn story is one of imagination and perseverance, and increasingly, well-deserved success. An on-going collaboration with Woolmark and other established brands proves that you can both be good and do good in a fashion world that could use more thoughtful designers like Raeburn.
Belstaff: Tent City
Teepees might seem an unlikely background to a fashion presentation, but it was a smart move for Belstaff by its new vice president of womenswear, Delphine Ninous.
The tents were done in parachute silk, evoking Belstaff’s role as suppliers to the Royal Air Force. The designer’s focus was on producing for a brand associated with masculine motor-cross gear, something softer and gentler for women.
Ninous told her story in fabric, and she had a name for her approach: feminine functionality. That meant soft outerwear in shearling and fur, parkas with quilted linings, and tactile knits, all sending out a textural message.
Perhaps the finest example of softening the hard image was a sweater in different shades and textures of white and grey — tough but also tender. The collection suggested that Belstaff is striding forward in the right direction.
Hunter: Let It Rain
The water pouring out from two industrialised fountains underlined Hunter’s message: downpour chic. The company whose fashion has started from the feet up, put a focus not only on urban streets but also the Scottish Highlands.
That was the message that creative director Alasdhair Willis put out backstage. Front of house, this translated as urban-art rainwear in black with shots of orange, which then morphed into thicker, wilder and more texturally inventive outerwear.
The depth of colour, from heather through to sky blue, with dashes of pink and mustard, made an even bolder statement than the high-heeled and wedgied wellies.