Classic Meets Cutting Edge at London Fashion Week

London’s fashion sense sits at the crux of reserve and rebellion, and that balance is most apparent during London Fashion Week. At London Fashion Week (Sept. 13-17), more than 250 designers will present their Spring 2020 offerings to leading editors, influencers, celebrities, and buyers from around the world. Speaking of buyers, we asked our pool of Italian boutique buyers which British fashion designers’ collections are on their wish lists this season, and why. Here are their top three picks:

Bet on Burberry 

Before the the name Burberry became associated with its signature check pattern, it was known for weather-resistant fabrics made to outfit English sportsmen and polar explorers. The brand’s founder, Thomas Burberry, invented gabardine in 1879, and that discovery eventually led to his being commissioned to design coats for WWI soldiers. The resulting trench coat became a pillar of the brand and a general fashion staple. 

Burberry’s legacy of exploration and innovation continues today under the leadership of its latest creative director, Riccardo Tisci. His debut for the label, a Spring 2019 collection entitled “Kingdom,” designed to address the various facets of British life. To that end, he presented a collection aimed at “the mother and the daughter, the father and the son.” He also introduced eveningwear to the brand and collaborated with Peter Saville to reimagine the Thomas Burberry monogram he found in the brand’s archives. Fall 2019 saw stronger streetwear references, especially in the form of dresses featuring hemlines created from upside-down polo shirts. We’re looking forward to seeing the imaginative ways Tisci will use the new Burberry monogram. We’re also anticipating the ways he’ll merge iconic heritage with his signature youthful spirit and proper tailoring.

Add JW Anderson to your agenda

Jonathan William Anderson’s eponymous label ruled London runways for the first time in Fall 2011, with a collection that was praised for its plays on paisley and pajama dressing. Since then, the designer has gained recognition for his ability to foresee megatrends and for the quirky ways in which he examines societal juxtapositions in his designs—combining masculine with feminine and playfully reinterpreting English style standards. 

Buyers from our partner boutiques are particularly fond of the nautical motif that runs throughout Anderson’s design ethos—anchor details, netting, and fisherman-inspired wide-leg jeans with exaggerated cuffs. His Spring 2019 collection’s bohemian fluidity felt refined, refreshing, and fun to wear. Fall 2019 invoked a spirit of “women walking on clouds,” meaning the pieces were meant to be elegant and exaggerated, but still easygoing, as in the pleated carrot-leg trousers that set editors buzzing last London Fashion Week. We’re excited to see how he’ll play with sartorial paradoxes for Spring 2020.

Get ready for Richard Quinn

Richard Quinn’s name was indelibly cemented into London’s fashion legacy when HRH Queen Elizabeth II presented him with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design at his Fall 2018 show. Quinn’s flair for dramatic proportions, strikingly feminine silhouettes, English-garden-on-acid floral prints, and eye-catching embellishments has also made him a favorite among red-carpet rulers, including Beyoncé, Amal Clooney, Lady Gaga, and Lily Aldridge. Add in the fact that his shows call attention to social issues such as cuts in funding for art programs in schools, and you have the ultimate fashion powerhouse. 

Quinn’s Fall 2018 presentation—the one attended by the Queen—offered abstract florals, spliced scarf prints, delicate details, and edgy plays on couture. Spring 2019 was rife with Hitchcockian references and nods to early 1900s party attire, ‘50s-inspired flares, and dropped-waist dresses. For Fall 2019, the designer offered refreshed iterations of traditional English themes: plaids and tartans sparkled, and wallpaper florals were embroidered with dazzling embellishments. Our buyers were fans of the body-skimming floral print-on-print looks. So, of course we’re all excited to see what new bouquets will emerge from Quinn’s Peckham print studio and how he’ll reinterpret the intersection of petals and mettle for Spring 2020.

From British fashion designers’ runways to your doorstep

Whether you’re in the mood for reserved sophistication or making a cutting-edge statement, italist has the latest in luxury British fashions. Our partner boutiques stock up on the hottest clothing, shoes, and accessories coming off the runways of London, and deliver them right to your door.  And for even more about British couture, check out our recent blog, Designer Spotlight: RIXO Dresses for great ideas on how to make these iconic floral fashions work for you all year long.


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By: Nafeesa Saboor

Nafeesa is the founder and editor of Shoes N Booze, a blog that pairs shoes with cocktails and provides shoe and cocktail-related tips, trend information and reviews. Her writing has also been published in The Source Magazine, xoJane, Sisters from AARP and other publications.

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