London isn’t a city for minimalists. At least, not if you're going by the runways. The UK capital is teeming with bright young talents who are all pushing forward their own unique creative visions of how customers should be dressing right now — in blinding colors, sheer fabrics, and taking up plenty of space. Even the city’s older core of elegant, classic designers put a bold foot forward for London Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer 2022 season. The takeaway for next year: fashion is meant to be fearless.
Even the way this season’s shows were produced was outside of the box. Rejina Pyo’s runway included a set of divers jumping off Olympic-height platforms, splashing elegantly into the water, Roksanda staged a modern dance performance, and Roland Mouret debuted his new collection in a short film modernizing the Greek tale of Ulysses. Still, despite all the playfulness found throughout the city, designers only pushed boundaries so far as customers would wear them. The clothes are not too precious or too weird to lose sight of the fact that someone actually has to want to put them on — for work, a wedding, or a night out. After all, fearless fashion still has to make the wearer feel good when they get dressed. Below, find a breakdown of five key trends from London to file away for later, because you can bet that while they may just be on the runway now, you’ll see your friends in them once spring arrives.
There were plenty of bold colors to call out on the London runways, but none felt quite so fresh or exciting as an energizing Kelly green. Supriya Lele and Rejina Pyo offered up modern dresses and tops ideal for drinks and dancing, a contrast to the usual night-out uniform of black on black. At Emilia Wickstead, the color offered up a bright twist on more formal evening gowns and tailored separates. The era of slime green may be over, but a more verdant and springy alternative has emerged.
Cutouts aren’t a new trend — just look to fall’s subversive basics as proof, but a group of boundary-pushing designers are taking design beyond just a simple circle snipped out. LVMH Prize winner Nensi Dojaka used delicate layering to create pieces that look just as good close up as they do from far away. And, at the Fashion East showcase, Maximilian debuted a stark collection that makes cutouts feel like a form of fine art rather than a craft experiment.
For those who don’t align with showing quite so much skin, there were many designers who took the opposite approach — instead swathing models in sweeping layers, often tugging across the chest and accentuating the neck and shoulders. Since this trend is heavy on the fabric, the choice to use a minimal palette gives it a refreshingly light twist. Most wearable were the romantic dresses at Erdem, which were draped and twisted to create an asymmetric neckline.
While wearing a mask may one day not be necessary to carry around, the importance of personal space isn’t lost on London’s designers. High-volume gowns made their way down a number of runways, all seemingly creating a radius of free space around the wearer. Molly Goddard has long made voluminous pieces a key part of her collections, but for the months ahead the message seems clearer than ever.
Show Some Skin
When it comes to sheer clothing, there’s a lot of adaptability to suit your comfort level because dressing fearlessly is also about wearing what makes you feel most confident. At Supriya Lele, Rejina Pyo, and KWNLS, a fishnet-like fabric served as a layering piece that showed more skin than it managed to cover up. But, for those keen to cover up a bit more, Yuhan Wang and Erdem offered lacy styles that are more subtle, though they still may require a bra underneath.