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Monday, May 16, 2022

The Most Eye-Popping Accessories of London Fashion Week


Fashion Week is back in full force, and there’s a lot to see. Blink (or scroll too fast on Instagram) and you’ll miss the details: tiny bags, tall shoes, feathered hats, leather capes and diamond dog collars. So as part of a new series, Wow Moment, we’ll spotlight things we saw on the runways that delighted or mystified us.

LONDON — Most children of the 1990s will relate to an irrational desire to own a pair of Buffalo platform sneakers. But who among us (of any age) wouldn’t love a chunky rubber high-fashion version, tightly laced, encrusted with pearls and crystals and teamed with matching knee socks?

Simone Rocha offered just that during London Fashion Week. No stranger to a platform, and having shown embellished track-sole sandals in her spring 2021 collection, Ms. Rocha had her models standing tall this season in comfortable stompers that undermined the prettiness of her ribbon-trailing looks with their sturdy streetwise grittiness.

The squidgy footwear and accessories from the Asian American designer Chet Lo were a spikier proposition. A new face at the Fashion East talent incubator, Mr. Lo showed a tropical vacation-inspired collection called “Splash,” for which he created a rubberized knit fabric and used it to eye-popping effect. Take the spiny giant lemon-yellow shoulder bag (with accompanying leg warmers, naturally). Or the backless stilettos in tropical fish shades that gave the effect of toes being tickled by tentacles.

Peeking at the designs of Nensi Dojaka also feels like a sensual experience. The newly crowned LVMH Prize winner trained as a lingerie designer, and her barely-there pieces show a delicate touch and a female instinct on how to put things together. Carefully rendered asymmetric slips, bralettes and separates, many suspended from complex threadlike straps, may be a touch too daring for even some bold dressers. But her hosiery would allow a step in that direction, including a pair of sheer tights ruched down the sides and another with a single graphic bloom cutout that’s certain to turn heads.

Harris Reed has been doing a lot of that lately. Fresh from a turn on the Met Gala red carpet, having dressed Iman in a gold jacquard bustier and flared trousers with an accompanying crinoline skirt made of layers of feathers covered with gold leaf, this American in London knows how to translate fashion theatrics into savvy commercial propositions.

First came a cosmetics line with MAC and then, in his fashion week debut, a gender-fluid jewelry line in collaboration with Missoma. The collection, which embodied his signature baroque romanticism, included necklaces and earrings laden with celestial charms that were designed to be layered across wrists and collarbones, chunky rings for every finger and a locket inspired by the showstopping ceiling of the Royal Opera House.

Richard Quinn may be another of London’s most feted young showmen. But after serving up a series of Crayola-hued jumpsuits, thorny looking leather fetish-wear and pumped up floral prints at the week’s closing show, his series of shopper bags, designed to look like brown paper with string handles and with his signature scrawled across them like a logo, proved a simple but refreshing palate cleanser when it came to arm candy.



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