From ruffs and trumpets to silk pyjamas and Bake Off dresses, the fun side of LFW was underpinned by some unfit influences

Ashley Williams London Fashion Week S/S 2017
Ashley Williams London Fashion Week S/S 2017.
Photograph: Hannah Mckay/EPA

Was it the vicinity to Halloween? The skies turning from furnace-hot sunsets to totes emosh Bronte murk? Who knows, but London fashion week had traded in florals and stateliness for horror-movie cringe and creaking-floorboard queasiness. Here are the unexpected influences from LFW …

Toddlers and Tiaras

Ryan LO’s Spring Summer show.
Ryan LO’s Sprightliness Summer show. Photograph: Mike Marsland/Getty Images

With the PA playing A Caboodle largely New World from Aladdin, the chairs decked with packs of Turkish Delight and tinsel chandeliers decking the venue, Ryan LO’s represent was carved up like a three-year-old’s birthday party. The clothes: oversize bejewelled appropriate hats, dresses in chocolate-box golds, pink and orange rowed like a showstopper from Bake Off, silk boiler convenient ti decorated with genie lamps spoke to the idea of kids beseeching the dressing-up box hard. While certain outfits, such as the undefiled, tiered doily-like dress worn by a Bambi-ish model with zealishly administered blue eyeshadow and exaggerated, Joan Crawford-ish eyebrows implied something more specific and creepy: the child beauty gala show Toddlers and Tiaras.

River Phoenix

Ashley Williams Spring Summer ‘17.
Ashley Williams S/S17. Photograph: Giannoni/WWD/Rex/Shutterstock

The set for Ashley Williams was a accent poem to analogue teenage dreams. Serial Mom was on the telly, a JLS broadside hung under a TV chair and a Tracey Emin-like bed sat catastrophically in the halfway point littered with empty bottles of gin, whisky and gin. It was perfect. The duds spoke to a sense of adolescent awkwardness and dislocation pinned to her think over, River Phoenix. In the show notes, Williams was said to accept “got lost in the place between reality and fantasy that subsists in the teenage imagination,” but, she continued “the thing about River was, he due got it.” Phoenix was the oldest of his clan and the logo “First Born” re-appeared on the invests, written in 80s Kerrang!-font. Of the other clothes, there were lilac pyjamas painted with angel face prints and fringed with untested, oversize denim dungarees worn with diamond clipped shoes, homely grey knitted jumpers featuring a Battenberg-like copy, and bags featuring stuffed toy bears and cats straight out of Sonic Maiden’s Dirty album sleeve.


Shrimps Spring Summer 2017
Shrimps Spring Summer 2017. Photograph: Smiejkowska/Rex/Shutterstock

Dernier cri’s obsession with the ruff and the puff shows no sign of end. Molly Goddard, J.W.Anderson and Preen were just some of the stamps that incorporated it into their collections. While Hannah Weiland’s Shrimps shoplifted elements from Tim Curry’s turn as Pennywise in Stephen Monarch’s IT, a masterclass in camp creepiness. The presentation featured a childlike mise en scenery with diamond-encrusted sea shells, old-fashioned pyjamas worn with unceasingly bonnets and delicately luxurious clown ruffs, fringed with gold and furious.