lfw autumn/winter 17, day one: ashley williams, marta jakubowski, le kilt, caitlin price, csm

As London Fashion Week kicked off, the capital's bright young designers captured the spirit of the times.

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18 February 2017, 11:15am

Photography Mitchell Sams

Ashley Williams
"Go into the garden, go under the ivy / Under the leaves, away from the party" - these Kate Bush lyrics are printed in a massive font across Ashley Williams autumn/winter 17 show notes. The words tie together Tony Hornecker's leafy, furniture-strewn and traffic cone punctuated set with the cosy but closely cut jersey tracksuits and bomber jackets of the collection. The ideal look for slinking away from a boring party and into the urban undergrowth; though the massive 'MISERY' motif could give you away. Returning from last season are the voluminous drop-shoulder leg o' mutton sleeves, seen on a baby pink shirt dress and a monochrome hawaiian floral shirt tucked into straight-cut blue jeans, and the slogan hoodies, this time with 'Classic' or '¡GIMMIE FIVE!' emblazoned across the chest.

While American movie culture was a big influence for spring/summer 17, this season Ashley looked at it from one step removed, taking inspiration from the Paninaro, a European subculture that fetishised the States, which she wrote about for her university dissertation. "Paninaros are teenagers who lived in Milan in the 80s, and they were really into American culture," Ashley tells i-D backstage after the show. "Anything preppy, like Ivy League schools, cowboys, Marlboro ads. They emulated that look, but in an Italian way, so it's super stylish," she explains. "Normally subcultures are associated with punk, emo - really rebellious, but [Paninaro] was just about being super mainstream!"

The Paninaro influence is felt in sporty cropped puffer jackets worn with colourful preppy kilts and wide pleated trousers, as modelled by Ashley's mate Claire Barrow; fringed cowboy tail coats in leather and ponyskin; and sporty black racer-neck tops and a dress with 'Save the planet' on the chest, worn by eco warrior Glacier Girl. Looks were topped off with a jaunty cowboy hat, or accessorised with glittering hair clips that read either 'Paradise' or 'Paranoia'.

Text Charlotte Gush

Image via Instagram

Marta Jakubowski
Within a Gary Card designed set, and soundtracked by Chaka Khan and Sade, Marta Jakubowski stole the show at the opening day of LFW. Her autumn/winter 17 vision was bright, bold and full of colour. It was a hymn to story of powerful women, told in Hillary-esque pantsuits, but reimagined in all the colours of the rainbow.

Text Felix Petty

Photography Mitchell Sams

Central Saint Martins
The CSM show is always special. Not just for the special talent it showcases (and as an institution, breeds), but because it really reigns in the emotive department. Friends, family, the whole fashion crowd come together to support, remember and celebrate the past, present and future generations of fashion superstars.

Winners of the L'Oreal prize were Gabriel Skucas (Knitwear) and Stefan Cooke (Textiles for Fashion) whose collections were impressive in skill and presentation. Skucas sent a beauteous procession of girls down the runway, clad in black, luxurious pleated skirts of varied lengths with cream cashmere blouses. Pious and romantic - yet utterly controlled in a sharp, modern and very intelligent aesthetic #looks #lookstotry. Cooke's collection was a thought out and crafted collection of trompe-l'oeil effects and tailoring. Denim and tartan prints covered soft chiffon blouses, with chic trousers.

There was a definitive disco fever in the womenswear designers' air, with Emma Chopova/Laura Lowena and Gabriela Sardena. Fuschias, red, bright greens and embellishments - both collections were brave purporters of maximalist fashion. Something that can sometimes be missing in fashion, and especially what students should be experimenting with. Bold ladies, and we love it.

Menswear designer Robert Sanders was a joy in styling and textures, with big denims, wools and jerseys. He took staples, played with them and made them look utterly cool. Oliver Thame's beautiful tribal prints and celebration of masculinity were powerful visual bombasts on the catwalk. It's only going to get better for all of these stars.

Text Bojana Kozarevic

Image via Instagram

Le Kilt
Sam McCoach used her autumn/winter 17 presentation at 180 The Strand to do what she does best, British-made clothes with a British sensibility. Entitled A Perfect Contract, the collection took her signature kilt skirts to the next level, elevating her fabrics choices, (she used cashmere this time around) and hand-finishing the skirts in Scotland. The attention to detail didn't stop at the skirts; badges and buttons on her hand-dyed jumpers came courtesy of Sam's close friend and Edinburgh College of Art student Chris. Elsewhere in the collection, Sam teamed up with kings of the the rain mac, Mackintosh to produce coats, dresses and jackets in rubber, all made for unpredictable weather in mind. All in all the collection had a decidedly 60s feel about it, with make-up artist Thom Walker looking back to the beatnik girls of the era for beauty inspiration, and updated their thick lashes and kohl liner with a heavy brow. Groovy baby!

Text Lynette Nylander

Photography Chloe Newman

Caitlin Price
Caitlin Price has grown up. For her fifth LFW collection, the south London former Central Saint Martin's student looked past the alcopop-fuelled hedonism of previous seasons to an altogether more structural affair; a kind of power dressing for when the lights come on and the DnB ends. All the trademark fabrications and wrappings are still there, as is the now customary collaboration with art director Joseph Bond, but whereas before Price's work would feel teenage or adolescent, it now feels glamorous. Regal, almost. Of course, it remains a mix of high and low, Price's love of sportswear apparent in the high-necked tops and cropped bombers. But within the sleek skirts and taffeta touches comes a newfound maturity and elegance. We like what we see. 

Text Matthew Whitehouse