Best of: London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017

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As the first European fashion week of the season, London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017 didn’t hold anything back when it came to releasing countless variations of its designers’ courageously graphic and imaginative creations onto the runway. From an avalanche of bright hues at Ryan Lo’s Hello Kitty-inspired collection, where he unveiled his first-ever foray into menswear, to Molly Goddard’s maximalist showcase of delightfully over-the-top prom-perfect dresses.

It’s been a long break since last season’s women’s shows in September, and this was the perfect way to launch ourselves into a new European fashion season—with the sort of creative collections we’ve been waiting for. Each of them clever, inspired and entirely covetable, here’s a look back at a few of the best collections from London Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017.

1. Ryan Lo

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Ryan Lo sent out a maximalist take on Nineties nostalgia, filled with signature high-drama pieces. Ranging from star-spangled sweaters to his first-ever menswear offering, this collection combined Hello Kitty motifs with the animated styling of our most favorite anime hero from the '90s—Sailor Moon. What resulted was a playful lineup of floral and camouflage patterns, alongside organza dresses, one-shoulder gowns and the floppy hats in camo and bubble gum pink made in collaboration with Stephen Jones. Kawaii to the max.

2. Phoebe English

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As far as conceptual designers go, Phoebe English's artistic garment renderings are par none. While her usual women's work is equal parts ethereal, languid shapes and the textural product of impeccable fabric research, this season she explored tailoring as the recurring and purposefully ill-fitting wide-cut trousers. Typically one to draw out a very human story in her collections, this season follows the strength and resilience of womanhood and celebrates unity over division—a beautiful commentary on the modern world's oppressive tyranny and the women who stand against them. Her boxy jackets and bold monochromatic color scheme were a highlight of the collection, as were her crowns of blue pens, golden plumes and blackened wood.

3. Ashley Williams

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For her sixth solo show, the increasingly exciting Ashley Williams sent out a follow-up to her nostalgic Spring 2017 collection, where she pilfered the remnants of '80s childhood moments for a covetable blast from the past; this season, she's transported herself back to the youth culture of 1980s and the Milanese Paninaro street-style trend of the time. Williams' fall-winter lineup was all about revisiting Americana prep and perfecting the party-girl look, all while heralding the great return of the Wild West. In a series of preppy tartans, cropped pants and tracksuits emblazoned with “Misery” slogans, the favorites of the season were easily the floral pieces, the tartan double-breasted blazer over a Shaquille O'Neal graphic t-shirt and the fringed cowhide jacket paired with gray acid-wash jeans.

4. Faustine Steinmetz

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Another denim favorite this season came from Faustine Steinmetz's cross-cultural fall-winter collection—then again, make that a long list of favorites. As queen of the British denim scene, the London-based French designer went about creating her latest season of covetable smocks with inspirations drawn from around the world. Whether diamanté-embellished denim from Bogotá, or acid-washed jeans from Tel Aviv, this season's lineup celebrated the world's favorite pant—the jean. Every look was unique, engaging and so very cool, especially the hand-woven jeans made by a women's collective in Burkina Faso, all with traditional looms.

5. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

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For their fall-winter outing, Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi constructed an intricate and poetic collection on the influences of Christina Broom's photos of suffragettes, artist Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas and the “New Romantics” of the Eighties. The ensuing silhouettes were feminine, flouncy and covered in floral prints. In places, the Edwardian-inspired designer duo presented corseted garments; in others, they offered free-flowing shapes. Among their play on the restrictive elements faced by suffragettes emerged the highlights of the collection: the duvet coats and wraps covered in bold wildflowers of red and yellow against a black back – a gorgeous new look in an increasingly popular trend.

6. Molly Goddard

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Lately it seems Molly Goddard has become one of London’s leading purveyors of fantastical frocks. With an emphasis on producing voluptuous tulle gowns, her collections are as prom-perfect as you can possibly get—and this season certainly didn’t disappoint. Goddard’s signature smocking and ruching appeared in a series of tulle skirts and ballooning shapes, all falling somewhere in a range of cotton-candy hues, from pinks and blues to soft coral. The fall-winter ruffles and tulle gowns were contrasted by more wearable pieces, like a pleated trapeze top and a pleated dress in gray cotton.

Brent Taalur Ramsey is an American writer living in Paris.

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