Fashion East is always a big show on the London schedule, but SS14 turned out to be particularly heavy-hitting, with all the important editors turning out to support Claire Barrow, Ryan Lo and Ashley Williams. But even Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman had to jostle for front row space with none other than Harry Styles – who told us he loved the Topshop showspace – along with London brat-pack cohorts Pixie Geldof, Nick Grimshaw and Poppy Delevingne.
Who… Ryan Lo was first up, and his fantasy for SS14 was a fairytale dreamer who is looking for love.
Front row… Harry Styles, Pixie Geldof, Poppy Delevingne and Nick Grimshaw.
The girls on the catwalk… Chloe led the way with a bouncing green ponytail.
In five words… Bouncy, sugary, exuberant, pastels, fairytale.
What we loved… The delicate lace dresses overlaid atop palest, prettiest pastel slips.
Playlist… The legendary Chaka Khan’s I’m Every Woman.
Hero piece… The pink cape! Who doesn’t want an eye-poppingly flamboyant pink tulle flower cape in their wardrobe?
Inspired by… The fairytale princess all-grown-up and playing house as she waits for the perfect man to come along.
End notes… A sugar-rush from start to finish, Ryan Lo’s childlike girliness is a breath of fresh air at fashion week.
Who… The Stockton-on-Trent designer Claire Barrow who heads into Fashion East territory for a second time.
The girls on the catwalk… Ahem, girls AND boys: some shaven headed, some androgynous, some sexy, some surly – all completely unique from each other, a great representation of Barrow’s individualistic style.
In five words… Punk and hippy love child
Playlist… Psychedelic strains from the 1970’s to nod to the collection’s slightly hippy-ish feel.
What we loved…. The off-the-shoulder neckline has never looked so subversive – despite the oversized 70’s style frills, they were raw-edged, heavy, and spattered with Barrow’s hand-painted motifs.
Hero piece… The leather bikers still stood out as the item the fashion set will all be coveting. Oversized and scuffed, hand-painted with moon-like portraits and horoscope signs.
End notes… The total opposite to fast fashion, Barrow’s painstakingly hand-painted pieces are for deep thinking sub-cultural mavens, and anyone who wants to look effortlessly cool.
The girls on the catwalk… The poutiest, glossiest ones who looked like they spent endless days paddle boarding off Venice Beach
In five words… Miami Vice tongue in cheek
Playlist… The Beverley Hills Cop theme tune was perfect for the slick looks.
What we loved… The glossiness of it all! Big dark shades, neon lips and tanned skin set the clothes off to perfection, with the pleated denim skirts and the louche silk separates (printed with speedboats!) being top of our list for next summer.
Hero piece… The cocoon-cut neoprene jacket with a cartoon of a speedboat saying ‘Dreamboat’ on the back.
Inspired by… Miami Vice!
End notes… Ashley Williams has that great skill of bringing a sense of humour to fashion whilst still making clothes that are serious contenders. Everyone in the audience smiled at her Dreamboat motifs and S.M.S slogans – and they’ll be smiling all the way to the till once the collection drops next spring!
Watch the complete Fashion East show below.