LFW – Childhood Nostalgia at Ryan LO

‘Small gift, big smile’ is the mantra that the iconic Hello Kitty has been selling to us since its birth on 1st November 1974 in London. On Saturday, the rising star fashion designer Ryan LO in collaboration with the Sanrio company made a tribute to the ‘you-can-never-have-too-many-friends’ philosophy that Hello Kitty embodies.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, he said: “I was born in Hong Kong so Hello Kitty was part of my everyday life. I went through the archives of their prints as I wanted to use Hello Kitty in an unexpected way – not just pictures of the cat or cherries that they are known for. It is such a cool company and I am obviously very touched to have been chosen.”

At the presentation of his Fall-Winter 2017 collection during London Fashion Week, the trend-setting Harajuku district in Tokyo had also a strong presence. Childhood nostalgia met his present, so the street style and the Japanese pop culture from the nineties resulting in extravagant cartoonish designs.

The romantic fantasy that is the consistent theme in the life and work of Ryan was injected in the sassy girly looks spotted on the catwalk. Organza and tulle ruffled dresses, as well as oversize childish sweaters were displayed in candy and hot pinks, which worked perfectly with the boyish edge added by pump style trainers.

A myriad of camouflage prints combined with polka dots, stars, and Hello Kitty patterns, competed with shaggy shearling jackets. All of them, the stars of the collection by Ryan LO who draw a rapper’s female posse where innocent met badass.

Photography Courtesy of London Fashion Week

Trend Report: New York and London f/w17

New York and London have just finished presenting their takes on fashion’s fastest growing trends. Designers had their hands in everything from florals to plaid, creating a fashion wonderland for all to see and appreciate. However, not every trend was something worth cheering over and not every trend from last year had the staying power to push into this season. In spite of all of that, five trends managed to dominate the runway this season at NYFW and LFW. Some of them are interpretations and modernizations of trends that have been going strong for a little while now, while others are fresh and following the beat of what’s going on around them.

Here are the 5 trends that swept the stage during New York and London fashion weeks:

Modern Plaids

Marc Jacobs, J. JS Lee, Anna Sui, Osman | Photos: Vogue Runway

The staple print of the 1970’s is back again with a vengeance this season. After slowly sneaking into almost every collection under the sun over the past year, this season’s take on the iconic intersecting stripes seems to have a bit more bite to it.

It seems that mustard is the go-to plaid punch colour this season. Designers like Marc Jacobs and Osman have created their own takes on mustard plaid coats that look beautifully modern, yet nostalgically retro.

Now mustard may have been every plaid loving designer’s sweetheart this season, but many other designers opted for more neutral tones instead. At Anna Sui and J. JS. Lee, Prince of Wales check coats and suits came in simple yet punchy neutrals of black and tan that pumped the heritage look of the check with a little youthful pizzazz.

Protest Apparel

Creatures of Comfort, Gareth Pugh, Prabal Gurung, Ashish | Photos: Vogue Runway

Political injustices that have been sweeping across the United States has inspired a plethora of designers and artists to push past what’s been socially acceptable as a collection to create what are now being dubbed “protest collections.

This season has seen countless designers present their personal opinions against the current U.S. presidency by incorporating graphic and stylistic design elements into their collections. For example, graphic tees and sweatshirts were the highlights at Creatures of Comfort, Prabal Gurung, and Ashish. Models strutted down the runway in garments that either directly quoted many of Donald Trump’s ludicrous catchphrases or directly opposed them by sending messages of peace and empowerment.

However, one collection really stood out by breaking down walls and really pushing the boundary of what politically charged fashion can be. This season at Gareth Pugh, models were dressed in military inspired outfits that so closely resembled modern Nazi uniforms that it felt uncomfortable to even watch the show — which was Pugh’s brilliant intention. Model after model stormed the runway in haunting makeup and beautifully tailored military garb that represented Pugh’s vision of what America’s future may look like if a fascist government sinks its teeth into it for too long. The runway music was a cacophonous array of jumbled songs, speeches, and easily recognizable American media that mimicked CIA audios of torture used on prisoners. The collection did not break from a completely black colour scheme, only adding to the doom and gloom that Pugh wanted to express. In the end, the collection is a strong representation of creative visions that designers will start to express as the world around them become little less bright as time goes on.

Alternative Florals

Preen by Thorton Bregazzi, Christopher Kane, Ryan Lo, Erdem | Photos: Vogue Runway

These aren’t your grandma’s delicate peony prints! Fall/Winter 2017 saw some of the most creative and downright unconventional floral prints seen to date. Colours were vibrant and outlandish, designs were ostentatious and gaudy, and the best part was that audiences loved every second of it.

Season after season, designers have slowly built up fashion lover’s appetite for more shocking floral prints. At Preen, one of the last biggest trends, the puffer coat was given a bright injection of watercolour florals. While at Christopher Kane, beautiful budding blooms exploded from simple slip dresses, adding a whimsical fairytale touch to the collection.

At Ryan Lo and Erdem, traditional English florals were spun into unconventional silhouettes to give a modern update to old world Victorian charm.

The Reimagined Suit

Theory, Thom Browne, Delpozo, Mulberry | Photos: Vogue Runway

Gone are the days of the 90’s power suit. Women now have a plethora of unique and interesting styles that are perfect for the boardroom. At Theory, Thom Browne, and Mulberry, plaids dominated. Adding a retro crispness to the modern suit. But the modern suit doesn’t just rely on a fresh print for an updated look.

At Mulberry and Delpozo, silhouettes were given exaggerated proportions to modernize the everyday suit’s silhouette. Broad shoulders and widened flared arms hark back to exaggerated Dynasty power suits, without leaving a tacky taste in your mouth.

However, the real winner has to be Thom Browne. For his fall 2017 collection, the master of suiting once again deconstructed the traditional suit and put it back together. Giving women the option of strong menswear-inspired looks as well as Edwardian era newspaper boy suits in whimsical gingham check. The collection presents an interesting take on the modern women’s suit. It showed that suiting doesn’t necessarily have to be cold and stoic — it can be interesting and even comical without taking away the commanding effect of the suit itself.

The New Trench

Derek Lam, Margaret Howell, The Row, MM6 Maison Margiela | Photos: Vogue Runway

It goes without saying that this season has been the season of the trench coat. Designers in every fashion capital have stormed the runway with their interpretations of floor-length trench coats, giving them modern updates, and unconventional silhouettes for the modern fashion aficionado to enjoy.

The most colourful of the bunch came from Derek Lam, who presented a lovely trench coat in red leather, conjuring up images of 1940’s Dick Tracey zoot suits. Meanwhile, Margaret Howell, The Row, and MM6 all opted for more traditional hues.

The most intriguing part of the modern trench coat is definitely the new proportions designers have given it. At The Row, trench coats were given extremely streamlined silhouettes by going sans buttons. While trenches at MM6, infused with traditional Japanese designs and tied at the waist with a very thin belt, almost resemble an unfinished kimono. Designs like these give the modern trench a fresh and exciting twist. This isn’t just your dad’s old London Fog coat anymore!

Continue following our fashion & lifestyle coverage on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.