The stalwart of British outerwear and iconic home-grown fashion, Aquascutum, who engineered an elegant show defined by sleek lines and simplistic colour at LFW.
The setting: The Ballroom at the Savoy Hotel. A chic backdrop of panelled cream walls and glinting chandeliers set the tone for a sleek collection that was as functional as it was fashion; from the oil-slick long gloves to the conventionally British outerwear.
For day, military inspired jackets with external zip fastenings and pockets at the hips, merging classic men’s tailoring with a tough girl look. Wool coats in black, pine and navy with exaggerated collars and bell sleeves spoke to a more relaxed daytime silhouette. Which also featured the obligatory fitted shirt and subtle dog collar beneath to harden the look. These contrasting collars in white or black, dependent on the shirt, were a defiant nod to the spirited tough edge that the collection continuously alluded to. A standout piece for day was the deep navy wool caped coat that had a leather neck fastening and black fur appendage – just the right amount of Sherlock Holmes meets nasty girl.
Leather panels were also seen on simple tunic and trouser combos as the models sashayed down the runway with measured insouciance. The dark hues faded to a cream and caramel colour-way of a head to toe tint. A white sleeveless tunic paired with a caramel pant had white leather panelling down the outside of the leg, for a wintery look that shunned the autumnal standards for colour. Accessories were caramelised for this part of the show, including the identikit boots and gloves. The shearling jacket comprised of a sensual amalgamation of fur and leather, in which fitted tailoring was feminine but strong – a real symbolic outfit for the entirety of their seasonal direction.
For night, an array of long shift dresses that somehow accomplished the tremendous feat of exuding both, the perfectly tailored fit as well as a languidly relaxed figure. A grey-marl day to night dress featured a stiff facade of a woollen work number, but had a slinky satin back that transformed the twee. Jumpsuits were cut-out at the hips, draped backs on black and floor length evening dresses were inevitably understated rather than ubiquitously Essex. The sheen of a leather pant in an all-black ensemble echoed the slick hair that had been expertly glossed by the hair team led by Anthony Turner.
So, a slick a/w’12 has been forecasted and Aquascutum’s offering has instigated snappy separates, a focus on collars and a continued obsession with the multisensory properties, of marrying opposing fabrics in a block colour format. A masculine form with an alpha-female edge is the order of the day: a far cry from the crystalline, candied aesthetic of this season – best we enjoy it whilst it lasts.
By Sophie Woods