A.F. Vandevorst marked its London debut with an Autumn/Winter 2016 collection made up entirely of contrasting themes – formal leisure, masculine femininity and understandable confusion. At first, An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx’s seasonal offerings seemed to be a bold hodgepodge of gimmicks (including belts wrapped around the models’ faces and ill-placed fishnet stockings), but this would later evolve from questionable styling choices and into the designers’ personification and embodiment of the woman on the go.
While translating an iconic source of inspiration into garments constantly situated somewhere between tailored and relaxed, the husband-wife design duo found their new home on the runway in London after almost twenty years of staging shows in Paris. Taking creative liberties with the show’s performance, which included a fog machine and three cameramen vigilantly live-streaming the models onto screens placed at the entrance of the runway, An and Filip managed to bring a Belgian-Parisian attitude to London Fashion Week.
The challenge of this particular show was to look past the gimmickry – past the belts, the smoke and wide fishnets. Once managing to do so, there were several worthwhile looks in attendance: Black blazers tucked into a gray marl tracksuit, a covetable black shearling bomber and a single-button tuxedo dress.
In what can only be described as side-draped skirting, the designers began to show off exactly what we love about them, their prowess in contrasting fabrics, textures and colours. Knitwear and checks, leather and denim, this collection had all of them it seemed. There’s no doubt fans of the label will be pleased with what A.F. Vandevorst offered this season because it truly was a strong collection once you were able to focus on it.