The top 5 Fall 2016 collections of London Fashion Week

 After 5 days of shows my top 5 of London's collections:

1. Burberry

Bailey described the new collection as a patchwork of his favorite things, and the compilation of ’70s glam-rock motifs, military tailoring, and mixed-media bohemia had a soulful English eclecticism about it. Edie Campbell, a model whose whole being seems to vibrate London-girl cool, opened the show with a look that spoke to that mix—a thigh-skimming jacquard dress, patterned tights, and a regimental navy wool coat with tons of attitude that grazed the edge of rubber-soled patchwork python boots. My number 1!

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2. Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou spoke about a child’s first passion for dressing up, be it as a cowboy or a ballerina. What evolved out of that was Katrantzou’s own romance—an early commitment to American ’50s Western styling with the first look, a boxy menswear check jacket with cowboy shirt leather detailing appliquéd across the shoulders. Katrantzou has had far more elaborate, almost psychedelically out-there, inspirations before—merges of imagery whose logic you can barely follow, but whose results become magically original.

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3. Christopher Kane

Briefing a crowd of journalists after the show, Christopher Kane spoke about reclusive hoarders, an outsider point of view, somebody living behind her own psychological bars. “She doesn’t know how to get out. She’s stuck.” Kane finds beauty in that manic predicament. “Things are so normal these days,” he shrugged. “So why not think out of the box?”

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4. J.W. Anderson

This is a guy whose collections represent a stream of consciousness which roams everywhere, voraciously appropriating and juxtaposing visuals and resonances and sharply synthesizing them into tops, shoes, and bags which will switch up a wardrobe. All sorts of things were going on with the clothes in this collection—short curviform skirts, various kinds of riffing on ruffles, chain mail–like studs, silver zippers used as nonfunctional decoration, an air of the mid-’60s—really too much to list without sounding crazed. “I love fashion! It should be fashion,” is one of the declarations Anderson made backstage.

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5. Simone Rocha

It's a collection of the lovely, practical, and tactile things—long Linton tweed coats with soft, baggy pockets, dropped shoulder lines and full sleeves, gauze aprons layered over dresses with semicircles of beading over the breasts. There were also celebratory gold cloque and embroidery, sweaters left to unravel at the hem, like knitting dropped for some emergency, a symbolic spurt of bloodred, and a pink off-to-bed bathrobe. All that connects with the thread of gothic horror that is running through this season.

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