LFW S/S 2008: Nicole Farhi and Jens Laugesen

Kate Gilbert reports live from London Fashion Week spring summer 2008

Nicole Farhi celebrated the label’s 25th Anniversary by going on safari. Shown in the glorious light space of the Royal Opera House, with its arching glass roofs and serene surroundings, Farhi took a tribal slant on her summer collection. Tie dye, ‘Kenya’ prints and patchwork were used in a floaty collection of maxi dresses, skirts, culottes and jumpsuits. Cinched in at the waist (and waist belts showing no sign of abating just yet) and accessorized with large metal disc necklaces and beads, Farhi’s collection was a mix between the dusty heat of a safari and a Somerset folk festival. The main colour was navy blue, mixed in patterns with splashes of deep red, browns, white and black. Whilst the collection was not very cutting edge, it is more my loathing of anything boho and the scary thought of its possible return next summer that fills me with dread. Last summer’s plague of 1970’s hippy skirts and ‘I don’t wash and want to live with the druids’ attitude should stay as a distant memory of summer’s past (and yet continue to be one of the reason’s that Sienna Miller is on my list.)

In stark contrast to this was the clean cut, elegant tailoring of the Jens Laugesen collection. Taking inspiration from 1970’s glam rock, Laugesen creates a highly wearable and versatile monochrome collection. The show seemed to fall into two halves; the first half was based on elegant tailoring and had a more rock ‘n’ roll feel. Tuxedo jackets and skin tight, black satin tuxedo trousers created a long lean silhouette, emphasized by high waisted trousers and skirts. Skin tight skirts with an exaggerated circle piece on the front were stylish and maintained the narrow silhouette from behind. Many were also created in forgotten fabrics such as lame giving them a shiny, glam feel.

Then the collection seemed to move to a different place; feminine, strapless, baby doll dresses in French chiffon, fell and draped around the models in layers. Full length versions which shifted from black to white down the dress were very ethereal and beautiful, whilst maintaining a sense of edge. The pieces were very simple and yet well thought-out and an all round desirable collection.