London Fashion Week: Everything You Need to Know and Own From Day 1

I get the feeling I belong in London, judging by how much I identify with the clothing making its way down the runways. I love NYC for its diversity and big name drama, but I find London’s offerings slightly more distinct and more to my liking.
Day one not only delivered an impressive line-up, but also stood witness to the fashion-conscious and academic crowd honoring the late Professor Louise Wilson of Central Saint Martins. She was a top influencer in the field and the force that molded a generation of top designers.

The Shows:

Let’s start off with Minnan Hui, who offered a fantastic, lively origami-fest. While many pieces were a bit too loud for the streets, they’re prime material for peacocking. I grew particularly fond of the checkered black/white/yellow cape and skirt ensemble.
Jenna.Theo, in the meantime, showed off more demure clothes in loose  silhouettes. I loved the long unfinished edge sweater dress, hitting mid-shin and could see myself making a uniform of it.
Jamie Wei Huang leveled the playing field between simplicity and eccentricity by trimming easy to wear separates with fun accents. A pink and blue fur collar popped on a purple tartan peacoat!
Catherine Quin‘s side slit dress over black trousers looked simple but effective.
Meanwhile, the London College of Fashion MA show showcased spectacular talent from a variety of graduating designers. Diani Diaz‘s sculptured masterpieces reminded me of geeky paper dolls (that I want to become). Kelly Cho showcased patent leather and gold trim that, thankfully, doesn’t blur the lines between fashion connoisseur and dominatrix. Maria Piankov‘s black and white cubist dress looks minimal but still evokes the complexity of a work of art. Meanwhile Miao Ho and Mushroom Song both struck on my love of strict tailoring and architectural curves. Scottacus Anthony helped me embrace color by pairing super fun accents and pops of neon with menswear inspiration. Plus, oh my Gawd look at that gold dipped trench! Shinhye Kim‘s patchwork was impeccable, and the coat immediately made me feel warm. Finally, Sisi Tang sent out looks that I can wear every day but still look like they’re the most special occasion pieces! Look at those curves (once again, reference my love of sculptured curves).
Over in the James Kelly camp, it seems the designer is very well aware of loose silhouettes as the ultimate mark of laid-back style. Those cocoon coats are stunning! The fact that they’re long enough to drag behind is an extremely covetable feature for me.Unfortunately, it’s not only impractical but they’ll most likely get shortened for the sales floor.
Joao Melo Costa made me starry-eyed for easy athletically inclined separates with glossy stamped mesh and gathered waists.
J JS Lee continues my love of drawstring-like gathering with pieces giving a nod to hand-stitching. A stunning, simple dress with a sharp silhouette is gathered above the bust to produce strong, but feminine folds rippling down the front. A fuzzy blush Mongolian hair number seems almost out of place, but it adds a punch of fun, and, yes, I would definitely wear it. Again, to peacock.
Vielma London taught me that I could love a leather dress and an emerald green trench.
Meanwhile, Eudon Choi made patched bright circles desirable on relatively straightforward silhouettes. Check out that satin double faced dress with a bright pop of color underneath!
And while we’re on the subject of color, Shrimps delivered another round of perfectly bright faux fur. The elongated mustard coat with the fuzzy blue trim is killer. And of course I gravitate toward the yellow and blue number, and not only because of my Ukrainian national pride.
While I’m not enough of an exhibitionist to wear most of the Felder Felder collection, the see through pants and bright red moto jacket seem very appropriate for some odd reason.
Teatum Jones also sent out plenty of see-through pieces, but with the copious amounts of fringe and the demure black pattern makes, it’s a bit harder to tell your lady bits underneath. Another standout was a white cutout shirt paired with an embellished blue pencil skirt.
Paul Costelloe is a lot more reserved, choosing instead to shorten a few hemlines but keep all the important bits covered. The standout purple tweed coat looks perfectly lady-like for when I want to look more like a lady.
And when I want to feel more like a child, I’ll turn to the Fyodor Golan collection, which featured sweet silhouettes, sweeter colors, and My Little Pony! If the adorable ponies aren’t your style (I don’t see why they wouldn’t be- love power and all), a spectacular sculptural skirt pairs well with a ribbed turtleneck.
Mod power at Daks! Stuff looked cozy and classic London, down to the color scheme and biker hats. I fell in love with the opening trench and a solid red knit dress. Tailoring, as always, was impeccable. And if you’re still exploring your brands, Daks is known for: tailoring and their Daks check (although this season, and the last, didn’t see much of it.)
Jean-Pierre Braganza delivered a stunning closing dress! Not sure if the silhouettes can get any sexier! The only precarious thing are those dangerously high back slits on the skirts and dresses. Another way of looking at it: Don’t bend over like a farmer tilling your fields when attempting to be fashionable.
While some of the Sass & Bide‘s crop tops and short skirts were meant for my younger years (I should know- I worked many odd jobs as a teenager to buy a Sass & Bide prom dress), the longer offerings and the outerwear called out my name this season. Did you guys see the black and white print coat? That was killer. I’m proud of my younger self for having impeccable taste (not proud of being an introvert who did not tell the world I was into this cool new line.)
On PPQ runway, a purple hooded mohair coat steals my heart, while a long velvet dress reminds me that velvet is still cool.
So, let’s be real, the first batch of designers’ Central Saint Martins MA outfits are creatively colorful and totally appropriate for, say, Katy Perry or Lady Gaga. Not much of an everyday street outfit. Unless it’s fashion week and I decide I like lingering about, waiting to be photographed. Once again, totally appropriate. Moving on from that, I find the asymmetric, hacked and slash batches of subsequent designers more natural for my everyday style statements.
Marios Schwab‘s statement includes ridiculously good looking dresses with boning running around their perimeter for structure. The sheer black number could easily satisfy a black tie fete requirement. A take on a mermaid dress looks a lot more appealing than the traditional mermaid dress, with a tangerine red burst cinched at the waist by a strip of leather.
Ccuoco wants me to wear languid, flowy pieces. I’d opt to pair them with full tops and bottoms.
Ong Oaj Pairam‘s colorful velvet dresses and tops look luxurious and have a heavenly drape to them!
Meanwhile, Daniella Barros goes for a quadruple whammy and gives me: loose silhouettes, monochrome color scheme, asymmetric cuts, and completely relaxed pieces.
Finally, Caitlin Price‘s skirt pant at Fashion East might be my new, much cooler, skort alternative. I can wear sneakers, run AND look like I’m straight out of an editorial? Yes, please. Leaving the glorified panty lines for the presentation floor though.