I make a point to head to London Edge every New Year now to see the SS ranges previewed, but until this year I hadn’t yet made it to the September show for the AW lines. Many of the brands had already previewed at least some of their collections online with their AW lookbooks, but there were many that still hadn’t about whom I was curious. I was also looking forward to seeing everything in person, whether I’d seen previews of the pieces yet or not, and to meeting some of the other familiar faces that would be there.
In the past I’ve gone along with one or more of my vintage style friends, but this time I decided to try to maximize my efficiency by going alone. I was a little bit nervous about being a billy-no-mates, but as it turned out I got to meet up with several of my friends there after all, Carly of Cici And Marie, pinup model Scarlett Luxe, and owner of Deadly is the Female, Claudia. I also bumped into Kerry, owner of Audrey Star’s Boutique, and lovely Claudia of Rockabillybelle.com who came over all the way from Belgium. And I had the pleasure to meet Jaimee, AKA blogger Soda Fontaine, who is just downright adorable, as well as a few readers who were all total sweethearts and I would have loved to have had more time to chat to.
The PR managers of all our favourite brands happen to be awesome, hilarious people, so getting to chat with them at their booths and the Influencer event I was invited to gave me such an insight into the upcoming lines. I’ve tried to remember to insert that background info into these summaries, but to be honest a week later it’s now just a haze of pretty dresses, lovely people and rushed excitement. Let’s go!
Collectif are such a powerhouse brand now that they work two seasons ahead, rather than the typical vintage-industry standard of one, meaning they had their entire SS17 line on display as well as the AW. I’m not allowed to show you any pictures or give you any information about that Spring/Summer line, because life is cruel, but I’ll warn you now that you will need to make sure your bank account is prepared for when it launches next year. It’s a mix of some of the existing styles and prints Collectif does best offered alongside some truly awesome new pieces and styles they haven’t offered before. As excited as I am about changing to my Autumn wardrobe, seeing that line has made me sad that I’ll have to wait for it.
In terms of AW16, yet again Collecfif are killing it. There’s rich greens, elegant burgundy, shimmering greys; plaids, checks and tartans; shiny gunmetal jumpsuits, gold lamé and faux leather, oh my. Plus, that’s not even mentioning be faux fur and jacquard that make an appearance. The whole line offers a mix of sumptuous holiday luxury and fun rockabilly glitz. I’m desperate for many pieces, ready to put them in my online basket as soon as they debut online, and I’d be truly flummoxed if at the end of the AW releases you told me there wasn’t anything you really wanted.
The Lulu Hun offerings are a mix of adorable and classic. Bright & Beautiful, their more 60s & 70s inspired line, will have some pieces sporting longer hemlines for those of us who aren’t fond of getting out such vast acreage of thigh. Aida Zak offers her usual office-appropriate, modest Autumn cuts.
The Collectif Mainline and Vintage lookbooks are already available online, so I figured my excitedly-shoddy snapshots on the day wouldn’t do the pieces justice in comparison. Instead, I’ve put together a little collage of some of my favourite styles and encourage you to give the full lookbooks a browse.
Love UR Look
This is Love UR Look’s first full AW line. I was in a rush by the time I reached their stall, so I forgot to snap a picture of their overall offerings, instead only grabbing this quick shot of my favourite piece, a sleeved dress with an apple print. If you click on the image you can see some of the other lovely prints they have on offer this season, including this apple style I love in an olive green (yes!) Their line on the whole offers more of the same of what Love UR Look are already known for, intricate design details, especially in their wonderful necklines, fun fabric prints that aren’t overwhelming, and modest hemlines, all ethically produced.
Banned did well this summer with the introduction of some incredibly popular novelty skirts, so they’re following through this AW by creating two seasonal novelty prints, one blue based and one red, both available on a dress and a skirt.
The items I was most excited for are their Modern Love tops and Addicted sweaters, available in greens, grey and other seasonal colours that are my favourite year round. They were soft to the touch and affordable, and I’ll be buying up several, for sure.
The other items I was thrilled to see were the tweed offerings. For me, that meant tweed swing dresses with suedette trimmed collars and cuffs, but the same style was also available in a pencil skirt and jacket set which was to die for. Their shoe and handbag line is also delightful, with several tweed inclusive pieces that make my English Rose heart ache.
Hell Bunny have had some amazing seasons of late, and AW16 offers some more wonderful pieces. There’ll be faux fur trimmed coats, holiday novelty themed pieces, and the return of their Christmas jumpers, with some new inclusions. Their Aberdeen and Dublin tartans from last year are available on circle skirts this year, thankfully, as well as a swing dress sporting a navy tartan that makes me happy. There were two surprises I was totally delighted by; one, a houndstooth dress that had a velvet collar which I will be buying ASAP; and two, two floor length gowns, one velvet and one featuring beadwork. I couldn’t get a decent shot of them on my phone in the convention lighting, but I’m delighted that Hell Bunny are expanding their party wear pieces in such an elegant direction to compliment their lovely tulle prom style dresses they’ve exhibited for the last two seasons.
Plus, there’s also handbags and lurex sweaters. Oh, did I sink the lead there? Yes, lurex sweaters. Yes, I know many of you will go a little bit mental over that.
The AW16 line from Voodoo Vixen is available first from Top Vintage but will be available on VV’s own site from the end of September. Their latest line features lots of your favourite VV styles in new colours or prints, as well as the debut of several new silhouettes, including four longer-length pieces available from the range designed by Rachel Jensen of Chicago Chic Blog. Yes, I said four–there’ll be a pencil skirt and high waisted swing trousers in addition to the Lola swing and wiggle dresses which have already been previewed online.
Voodoo Vixen are also offering coats for the first time ever, alongside an extension in their handbag range of which I put at least 4 onto my mental wishlist. There’s two elegant jumpsuits I deeply wish would work on my body, and, yes, we have to talk about their olive velvet gown, which is as gorgeous in person as it looks in pictures. Plus, sssh, they’ve been keeping it a secret that the gown will come in a second colour. Keep your eyes peeled. They’re both bound to sell out fast.
Heart of Haute
Heart of Haute always offer lovely party frocks and glitzy fabrics for the holiday season in their AW lines, but this year I’m so excited to see a healthy dose of plaid and checks. Not all their new pieces were at the show, so I don’t have a huge amount to show you, but if you love HoH it’s definitely a line you won’t be disappointed by.
Miss Candyfloss’s Librarian Collection for this season was inspired by old movies, like Funny Face and the Audrey Hepburn’s librarian character within it. There’s lots of checks and rich, autumnal colours on offer in this season’s line, as well as two pieces designed in collaboration with Miss Victory Violet. Their bestseller Gigi jumpsuit is coming in a couple other colours/print combinations, and they’ve got some tartan-tastic separates on their way alongside their vast selection of beautiful dresses.
So, what d’you think, what are your favourites? Is there anything you need now with your grabbiest of grabby hands?