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Fashion International - AW16 Show Report

Laser cut outs and thick knits bring a new twist to familiar silhouettes

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Image: Malik Haddington Ahmed

On the second day of London Fashion Week The Amba Charing Cross Hotel played host to the Fashion International catwalk show, an event featuring a range of labels, both British and international, emerging and established. Each collection exhibited its own unique aesthetic while music was employed effectively to differentiate, ranging from the rousing orchestral music welcoming Jireh Couture onto the catwalk, to the modern pop that accompanied Sonali Malhotra's collection.
Jireh Couture, the opening collection, featured high waisted trousers, thick knits and the very much on-trend turtleneck. Dark colours dominated, with deep reds and blacks showing prominently across the collection, a trend that was repeated by other designers throughout the show. These dark colours were often woven into gingham patterns, to give a gothic, unique twist to a print that could otherwise come across as twee. Full, pleated skirts were followed by coats adorned with large, statement lapels, giving every outfit some element that experimented with existing silhouettes. A trend running throughout the collections was adventurous cutouts and unexpected flashes of skin. The laser cutting on the shoulders of Cube Estonia's collection was followed by the exposed backs of Forever Devine's designs, which preceded the dramatic off-the-shoulder cuts of Sasmitha Dellawa. These cut outs offered twists to seemingly standard designs, and the gradual revealing of the exposures as the models made their way down the catwalk heightened anticipation.

Image: Malik Haddington Ahmed

Fittingly for the Autumn/Winter catwalk, dark colours ran throughout all the collections. There was one exception, as Sasmitha Dellawa showcased a lilac blazer over a peach, tulle skirt, creating an ethereal look that contrasted with the bolder colours of other designs. Few of the designs involved prints, but the incorporation of lace added feminine touches to the gothic nature of Aga Couture's designs. This collection mirrored the full skirts of Jireh Couture, with one design taking the concept of the empire waist to the extreme, placing a belt around the centre of the bust from which a full satin skirt flowed down to the upper thigh. The incorporation of lace into Aga Couture's designs matched the cut outs that were to be found elsewhere on the catwalk.

The show closed with Omar Mansoor's Marchesa Casati inspired collection. Models hid behind masks reminiscent of a Venetian masquerade ball, drawing on the Marchesa's infamous Italian soirees. Using a range of silks and velvets in pewter and gold tones, the designs reflected the light, encapsulating the elegant yet cheerful look that the collection claimed to aim for. Entitled 'L'Art Vivante', the collection closed the show with, if not a brighter, then a less intense look in comparison to the gothic designs of earlier collections, while making a lasting impression with the masks which adorned the models' faces.

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