London Keeps it Light



While the international fashion press has been predicting a return to austerity this season, London’s catwalks were filled with carefree, floating forms. Fluff, in a host of varieties, was the heavy-hitting trend dominating British Fashion Week.

The overarching look was light and breezy. Candy colors reigned and fridge, floss, puff and eye-popping decorations aggressively enforced an atmosphere of fun and folly. A standout example was the mass of feral frizzy hair, pink hippie gear, and candy-apple lip gloss on display in Karen Bonser’s TopShop collection for Unique. The vibe was exuberant, even though it was clearly channeling Jodie Foster’s doomed child prostitute from Taxi Driver.

Matthew Williamson balanced his show’s intense, industrial setting–the gutted Battersea Power Station–with a show of flowing safari-wear and watercolor print kaftans that twinkled with gold accents and trailed colorful fridge. Holly Fulton accessorized her blaring African-inspired and Pop art prints with chubby furs and appliqués that looked like shiny stickers. Louise Grey was anythting but–her collection was defined by mad-cap color combinations and a profusion of pom-poms on models’ heads. And Richard Nicoll even managed to make latex, that quintessentially British fabric, look sugary with sweet little peach swing skirts and dainty pink latex details.

Gloom, it seems, is last season.