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Brief Published: 22 Feb 2012

LFW A/W 12-13: Military


Soldier style provided inspiration for numerous Autumn/Winter 2012-13 collections at London Fashion Week, with Unique – British brand Topshop’s ready-to-wear line – demonstrating the strongest confirmation yet of Stylus’ Protest industry trend.

Long khaki overcoats, oiled apron dresses and exposed utilitarian hardware are key pieces in the military-feel collection. An earthy colour palette of khaki, rust, burgundy and black creates a grungy aesthetic, lifted by the glitzy, backless party dresses teamed with tough worker boots. As a youth-driven brand, hotpants, strapless bodices and exposed midriffs were incorporated with the heavy-duty outerwear for an additional dose of radical attitude.

London-based Burberry Prorsum interpreted military influences with a more quaintly British, feminine aesthetic. Cargo jackets, pencil skirts and military coats with accentuated hip pockets were cinched with bow belts for an exaggerated, hourglass silhouette. In terms of fabrication, Christopher Bailey presented quilted padded jackets and raffia skirts, adding texture to his bold silhouette.

A new addition to the London Fashion Week schedule, UK label Alexander McQueen’s diffusion line McQ made its debut. Having previously been held in an agreement with Italian licensing firm SINV SpA, the company – with creative director Sarah Burton at the helm – regained full control of the McQ brand in late 2010. McQ has now been elevated to provide a more accessible offer than the luxury mainline collection. The brand will be opening a flagship store on London's Dover Street this spring, supporting the rebranding of the label.

For A/W 12-13, McQ adopted the military aesthetic with structured officer coats teamed with thick leather belts and over-the-knee, dominatrix, lace-up boots. Khaki army-wear was shown for both sexes, with McQueen’s signature fabrications of lace, tartan and velvet featuring heavily. The collection progressed into leather suiting with varying textures including shearling and lace adding an opulent edge to the classic McQueen severe tailoring. Once again, hips were emphasised with pockets and accentuated cuts, providing a strong confirmation of the exaggerated hip silhouette as seen in New York collections including Marc Jacobs and Alexander Wang.

London Fashion Week concludes today with men’s day. Milan Fashion Week begins today (22 February 2012).

London Fashion Week