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Culture

LFW: Marques Almeida, KTZ and Sister by Sibling

I now want a camouflage denim three-piece. No, seriously.

by Bertie Brandes, Photos: DM
18 February 2013, 5:00pm

It's London Fashion Week, darling – down that glass of Cava, sling on something uncomfortable and sort your hair out. Jesus.

MARQUES ALMEIDA

London Fashion Week is consistently the most exciting thing about people wearing clothes on podiums in different places around the world. After the gaudy Justin Bieber moon-boots and luxe, all-black everything of New York Fashion Week, it's genuinely exciting to see London catwalks showcasing some energy, innovation and stuff not designed exclusively for people who've substituted their personality for a Saks gift card.      

London-based Marques Almeida is a perfect example of how to do it properly. The ripped-up, oversized, over-layered silhouettes the duo showed this season were somehow slim, deconstructed and sporty without feeling at all overdesigned. The camouflage denim three-piece at the end was (seriously) genius in its wearability, which might sound like an overstatement, but read the first part of that sentence again: camouflage denim three-piece. The colours were almost Ellesse, the shapes were updated TLC, hair and make-up was understated wet-look and grungy and I – if you can’t already tell – am totally, mind-blowingly in love.


KOKON TO ZAI

Kokon To Zai are equally impressive in their constant compulsion to redefine how fashion should feel. Their collections are always thoroughly self-conscious, drawing inspiration from their direct environment and using it to create characters, rather than trying to do it the other way around. Despite being born from a retail environment – they have three stores, impressive for a brand their size – the colours and shapes at KTZ feel of another world from the commercial nature of, say, Topshop or Mulberry.

This collection opened in a flurry of monochrome, with black wide brim hats, huge scarfs, tasteful text embellishment and short skirts and collars that felt like London’s answer to Proenza Schouler. Huge parachute dresses, fringing and bomber jackets pulled it back from the realm of over-finished and dropped it somewhere into a world where Cruel Intentions was shot as a spaghetti western and styled by Dior Couture. AKA, a world I want to live in once I'm done with real life.


SISTER BY SIBLING

If you've been anywhere near the internet in the last three days, chances are you've seen a picture of Cara Delevigne wearing a gigantic knitted beret. No? Well, your loss. The womenswear line from the trio behind Sibling boasted LOVE editor-in-chief Katie Grand as stylist and a supermodel opener.

All that seemed pretty well deserved for Sibling, who have never shied away from the absurd (last season was basically huge white pom-poms with ears and little legs poking out the bottom), but maybe never got the serious consideration warranted by their risk-taking. This season, cutesy twinsets with floral embroidery – which could have been a tiny bit tighter, as knitwear has be sxe – stood out, alongside the fur hat and sheer skirt from the second look. It was sort of like watching Cara Delevigne pretend to be an old Parisien lady stuck in a time machine with a busted dial, which can only ever be a good thing.

Follow Bertie on Twitter: @BertieBrandes

Catch up on London Collections: Men