Black and White and Gray All Over-------
The London shows wrapped yesterday and, to our surprise, the city—known for its vibrant (in every sense of the word) young talents—gave us clothes in uncharacteristically subdued hues. Not that that’s a bad thing. As Marc Jacobs‘ show poignantly proved, gray is emerging as a prevalent Fall tone (perhaps a rebellion against the techno prints and acid shades we’ve seen in seasons past). And this held strong across the pond, with designers like Mary Katrantzou (above, center), J.W. Anderson, Richard Nicoll (above, left), and Thomas Tait favoring the shade. (Not that they were married to it. Tait, Nicoll, and Anderson each had splashes of orange, too.) Katrantzou—London’s princess of vivid prints—was a particularly unexpected (and successful) color convert, showing a meticulous collection that consisted mainly of black and gray, with hints of emerald, lilac and cobalt. But most surprising (and thrilling, for that matter) was Meadham Kirchhoff (above, right). The designers ditched their rainbow sequins and beloved disco palettes in favor of an almost entirely black, white, and ash Fall range. That’s not to say it was bland—vinyl ruffles (like the ones that trimmed the designers’ skirts and trousers), no matter what the shade, could never be bland. But it was indeed a directional departure from their typical kaleidoscopic mix. Don’t be mistaken—London’s pared-down palettes don’t mean the fog has taken over, and there were plenty of colorful clothes on offer to prove it. However, a few of the city’s talents have figured out that they don’t always need to employ prints and brights to pack a serious punch.