Spring/Summer 2011 Collections – By Amanda Waters
London Fashion Week September 2010, was inspiring, with outstanding collections including the sheer romance of floor-sweeping femininity from Julien MacDonald’s silk and chiffon gowns (or were they negliges?), some ‘fastened’ with parachute straps with their long silk trains billowing behind as the models seemingly glided down the runway. Elsewhere, silk and chiffon trains in pale pinks and whites frothed seductively around the model’s legs as they walked. Shorter baby doll type pieces with just enough undergarment to guard one’s modesty were layered in soft pinks and nudes, some adorned with shiny beading catching the light with every step.
Trains also featured strongly in the spectacular collections from Matthew Williamson, and Antonio Berardi, where many hemlines were much shorter at the front, with trains falling behind. Antonio Berardi teamed his pieces with khaki military type jackets, creating a ‘soft verses hard’ look. This theme continued at Burberry, as it had last season, where studded biker jackets were teamed with brightly colored mini dresses, or over leather leggings in black or cream.
A truly unforgettable show was the Topshop Unique collection, which paid homage to the 1970′s (a big trend for Spring/Summer 2011), where, quite frankly, Unique was an understatement! The models’ hair was crimped with ultra volume, in some cases spray painted, and each fantastic garment worn with ultra high glass sandals or boots, with fringing appearing on either footwear, or handbags. Aviator glasses were worn with the most daring pieces, just to remind us over thirties that some of these pieces are for the ‘out-all-night’ brigade, as well as for those of us who wish we still could, but will enjoy wearing the batwing jumpsuits or kaftans nevertheless.
Another key trend for Spring/Summer 2011 was white, (not completely surprising considering the season, but nevertheless reassuring). White appeared in many collections, but perhaps, in it’s simplest form, at the Nicole Farhi show, with linen suits, long linen skirts and dresses, some teamed with white shiny tassels worn with sandals lending a casual look, rendering these glamorous gowns versatile enough to be worn from dawn til dusk.
It was great to see newcomer Holly Fulton deliver such a spectacular collection, with her trademark brightly coloured garments and matching accessories and Michael Van Der Ham’s quirky debut show was enormously successful. It is this kind of success which is wonderful to see, and along with many other young stars, (not forgetting the extremely talented, yet amazingly humble Edward Finney), should make us feel proud of our achievements in this Country as a whole with the support and mentoring which we have been able to offer to the fashion industry. Unfortunately with the main benefactor to the British Fashion Council, the London Development Agency about to be scrapped, (the BFC won £4.2 million of funding from the LDA tree years ago, of which £1.2m was awarded to London Fashion Week), these have become worrying times.
However, with a report just published by consultants Oxford Economics which showed that the British Fashion Industry is worth £21 billion to our economy, and directly employs 816,000 people, there should be no question about whether future funding should be made available.
Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey, was recently overheard as say “we’re facing a very tough time financially, but we can always try to find money down the back of the sofa. The fashion industry gets small amounts of assistance for specific projects, but the great thing about the BFC is that it can make a small amount of money go a long way.”
Well, we hope you manage to dig deep Mr Vaizey, so that we are able to supportnot only our outstanding achievements as the leaders in fashion innovation within the global sector, but also, the everyday high street consumer who turns to fashion to brighten up their day.
I have had over 500,000 views on my Fashion Show Images website since London Fashion Week, mostly from people wanting a quick and easy ‘fashion fix’ during their lunch hour. The interest and glamour which the fashion world creates should be made available to all in a non-costly and easily accessible manner through the media, and also, on the high street. If, even for no other reason, hard working people are able to relieve themselves from their daily grind. Thankfully the British Fashion Council has come a long way in making this possible. Our high streets are now among the most diverse globally. To be able to purchase a favourite garment on payday is a wonderful thing for most people who would not consider themselves ‘fashionistas’, but simply like to follow fashion. What an enormous incentive to work……
In supporting British Fashion, one is not just supporting an elite section of the community, one is supporting a whole nation, and with the current economic climate, what else do we have to cheer us up…?
So, Mr Vaizey, as gatekeeper to the safekeeping of our art galleries, museums, and all of our creative achievements in the fashion world (amongst other things), in short, many of the things which make us great as a nation and keep our spirits up, we hope you will guard us well….!