This was the last day of London Fashion Week and the one show that everyone just had to see was Marques’ Almeida. This is the show for all the cool kids, the hipsters who know what Marra Marques had for lunch and Paulo Almeida’s favorite brand of soda. This is the show that is supposed to tie the past five days together and in many ways it did just that.
Before I get too distracted, though, I have to talk about the denim. Denim is the strong point for this label and these designers. To a certain degree, nothing else in the collection really matters. Denim is going to be their best-seller. If you’re one of those annoying people who only buy major label clothes so you can name drop, you’ve missed the boat if you don’t own a pair of Marques’ Almeida jeans. This season, they bring some really forward-thinking looks down the runway with their denim. Probably the current favorite, judging strictly by social media mentions, would be a pair of jeans that gathers at the ankle then flairs out. There’s a well-washed look with over-sized sleeves and a frayed diagonal hemmed skirt that’s pretty hot as well. These are the looks really worth mentioning.
Much of the rest of the collection reads like a list of seasonal trends. Poofy sleeves (that’s not the technical term, but there are more than one kind and they’re all here). Deconstructionism (though the ruffles around some of the cuts seems a bit too much). Ruffles in places one normally doesn’t think of putting ruffles. Metallic fabric (shiny silver in this case). Giant rings. Lace on very short shorts. Camisole tops with floral prints. Everything we’ve seen all week is here and most of it is done well enough to keep it popular with the trend chasers.
The looks here are creative and occasionally challenging. We’ve seen plenty of extra-long sleeves, but this duo takes the extra step of making the cuffs absolutely huge. We’ve seen plenty of stripes and shirt dresses, but here we see a black/white striped shirt dress that is so huge it looks less like a possible prison outfit and more like costuming for Tim Burton’s Beatlejuice sequel. If one is not young and trendy and very much up on Instagram styling, one may not appreciate several of these looks. However, as challenging as they might be, they’re very much on point in creating new shapes and silhouettes that are roomy and comfortable for summer.
This is a good place to end London Fashion Week. We’ve seen a lot here and almost all of it has been very different from what we saw in New York. One has to admire the originality of British designers and their willingness to stretch our ideas of fashion. Marques’ Almeida represents their colleagues well. This is a collection one wants to watch. Especially those jeans.