LFW: What did we see at the shows?

London may be dominated by the weather, but that didn’t stop the fashion at Fashion Week with two outstanding collections from Simone Rocha and Erdem, and more than honorable shows from Tove and Holzweiler.

Jeans hanging from a string outside a window.

During London Fashion Week, and just days before Paris, Balmain’s artistic director Olivier Rousteing said that thieves stole more than 50 pieces of the new collection that his Paris house intended to show at fashion week later this month. According to him “So many people worked so hard to make this collection. We’re redoing everything, but that’s so disrespectful. We will not give up.”

A worn denim pants.

Celebrating calm elegance and idyllic dressing, Tove’s spring collection was presented almost lazily inside the Hayward Gallery on the banks of the Thames. Wearability continues to define their offering. We’ve seen lace, that once staple that’s quickly becoming one of spring’s favorite themes, softened by pairing it with a pair of sharp-cut black pants. Laid back London at its finest!

A woman with a blue denim pants and a white shirt on the street.

Erdem Moralioglu’s spring collection was a tour-de-force, a very English romance and a detailed love letter to the character and wardrobe of the late Deborah “Debo” Cavendish, the Mitford girl who married the Duke of Devonshire and took it upon herself to save perhaps the greatest of all family estates, Chatsworth House. Combining the Duchess’ obsession with Elvis, in her signature white shirts and blouses finished with Elvis-style embroidery, or flapper dresses or biker jackets with crystal detailing. Clips of Presley singing Always On My Mind were interspersed with excerpts from an interview with the Duchess.

A woman wearing denim pants holds her left rear pocket.

The Norwegian brand, which was founded and is still run by the Holzweiler family, arrived in London to present its spring collection. She staged her show at Camley Street Natural Park, an unusual green space of oaks, bogs, ponds and hedgerows, a charmingly raw space behind King’s Cross railway station. In addition to the sheer elements, the collection included layers of chiffon, crochet and Tencel fashioned into midi and maxi dresses, some of which featured dramatic cut-outs at the hips. Floral motifs adorned the net fabrics, forming unique blouses. Knitted bralettes with straps that tie at the waist were a refreshing contrast to the suits.

A group of three all wearing denim.

Irish designer Simone Rocha is one of the key presences on the London Fashion Week schedule. For Autumn/Winter 2023, Rocha built her own dark dollhouse inside London’s Methodist Central Hall and took a trip to English National Ballet for Spring/Summer 2024. Loving flowers adorned the clothes throughout, with the first appearance to be colored in delicate pink. Another notable highlight is that Simone Rocha presented her first collaboration with Crocs on the runway, adorning the perforated silhouettes with sparkling rhinestones and large pearls.

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