London Fashion Week AW11: Aquascutum

Who: Aquascutum

What: Modern minimalism, clean lines and colour pops

Thoughts: Aquascutum’s autumn/winter 2011 collection is the first under Joanna Sykes’ creative direction, and what a path she’s paved.

Combining her signature clean cuts with the label’s rich British heritage, English Icons feels like a fresh approach for Aquascutum, but it’s all the better for it.

Outerwear is key, of course, taking traditional winter staples like the trench, field jacket and pea coat and translating them into something altogether more contemporary with tonal colour blocking, exaggerated proportions and a playful mix of textures – English tweeds, mohair, leather, suede, shearling. They’re sleek, but the occasional slouchy parker or puff jacket give an air of relaxed Nineties nonchalance.

Traditional tailoring is given a new lease of life with clean cuts and matching separates worn together for a powerful statement, especially when injected with splashes of vivid orange and electric blue in gentle geometry.

But amidst the modern minimalism there’s femininity, too, best seen in loose, long silk dresses and jumpsuits in soft slate shades and midnight blue, or sheer chiffon blouses in blush. And making a debut appearance, there’s accessories to boot – quite literally.

Structured, pared-down ankle or knee-high boots with subtle coloured panels in a mix of suede, deerskins and tough saddle leather and grown-up, sophisticated bags with charming hardware form the perfect finish to this incredibly wearable-but-cool collection.

Keeping Aquascutum’s roots but reinterpreting them into something very clever, Sykes’ inaugral collection for the British heritage label is nothing short of amazing – and we want it all.


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