Author: Sunna Naseer

Fashion designer turned journalist from London. @sunna_naseer http://www.inspiredinthecity.wordpress.com

A grand white staircase under the name Paul Costelloe sets the scene for the designer's AW17 show inside The Waldorf Hilton. As the first three models walk out, a strong tailoring theme is instantly set.

Irish tweeds, fine wools and silk jacquards make up looks with a slight nod to the Tudor period. Sleeves are exaggerated, waists are small and skirts are full.

Corseted designs emphasise the feminine silhouette and plunging necklines and slit skirts add a youthful edge to these historical shapes. Traditional fabrics are teamed brilliantly with modern English latex and leather to bring the look into the present day.

Sheer fabrics, cut-outs and a metallic colour palette also add an element of youth to the designs.

The models walk proud, confident and strong, reflecting the Paul Costelloe muse. He pays close attention to detail, creating collections out of the finest quality materials, tailored beautifully to make the wearer look and feel fantastic.

The designer has an exceptional talent for pairing textures expertly. There is a constant play between matte and sheen, smooth and tactile, delicate and structured.

In his own words, Costelloe says, "Creativity, texture and traditional designs are what I want my brand to always be." He's certainly hit the mark again with this extraordinary collection.

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer

Images: Mel Williams | Fashion Week Photographer | @mvwphotographer

A busy vintage office scene unfolds where impeccably dressed women sit at desks liaising on the phone, sorting cash or jotting down notes. They're in a world of their own as the audience gathers around, transfixed.

This is the work of Miló Maria, a brand built upon the values of sophistication and practicality.

For her AW17 LFW presentation, Maria takes a look at contradictions. From colour and texture right through to design, this Victorian inspired collection took a creative journey and travelled right across to the opposite side, ending up with influences from fetish wear.

Modest Victorian details such as high-necked ruffled collars and long cuffs are juxtaposed with patent leather, straps and ties, adding a sultry, femme fatale edge to the prim and proper look.

Clashing textures add levels of interest from luxurious long-pile velvet and suede, to smooth cotton shirts and delicate knit - a first for the brand.

A sophisticated colour palette elevates fetish elements to sit comfortably next to demure details. Deep burgundy, forest green and sugary pink are teamed with black, grey and cream.

This interesting play between two opposing worlds makes for a confident collection for the modern woman.

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

Boxes upon boxes covered in plastic film sit stacked together and provide the backdrop to Haizhen Wang's LFW presentation. The parcels are packed and ready to go which is exactly what 'In Transit' is all about.

As a response to the growing immigration crisis across the world, the collection embodies the idea of transience. These nomads are dressed in protective plastics and padding, wrapped with straps, and tied into corsets, replicating packed luggage that's ready to go. Slogan badges stitched onto sleeves read, 'fragile,' 'priority' and 'handle with care.'

There's a strong sense of utility, a continuation from the brand's SS17 collection. Key fabrics include wool and shirting materials in striped patterns.

Wasp waists are accentuated in comparison to oversized pockets and collars. Silhouettes are slouchy and slightly oversized which further highlights areas that have been tied tight with belts.

The models' serious composure teamed with a no-nonsense palette of khaki, navy, black and white reflect the seriousness of the global issue that Wang explores.

A thought-provoking collection executed through clever design.

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Tegan Rush | Fashion Week Photographer | @tegan.photography

Walking into Judy Wu's LFW presentation at the RSA, I am instantly bedazzled by the bright stripes of colour running across lengths of fabric. The collection, aptly named 'Prism,' explores the idea of uncertainty as a response to recent world events.

Fearing that life no longer evolves in a linear narrative, Judy Wu expresses this notion through the way in which light refracts and splits into many different directions when travelling through a prism.

Coloured stripes and panels are printed across garments and fabric falls from the neckline in a zig-zag ruffle pattern. Direction is unpredictable, colours are vivid, and patterns are disrupted through folds and pleats in the fabric.

Nothing about the design is certain. The collection sits unsettled, the opposite of calm in every way. It's alive and constantly moving, keeping the eye guessing on where it's headed next.

Despite this sense of chaos, the collection does have a softer side in its use of fabrics. The craftsmanship is not as unexpected as the design. Smooth wool, cotton velvets, silk georgette and translucent organza help lighten the mood, taking the edge off of this harsh reality. The result? A play between nervous uncertainty and the comfort in what we know.

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Tegan Rush | Fashion Week Photographer | @tegan.photography

Gone fishin' was the concept behind Minki's AW17 presentation at the RSA for London Fashion Week. The designer, who loves to create a dialogue with his audience, took the Minki woman back to her childhood to the time when she was coming of age.

Exploring this journey, the collection experiments with the experience of growing-up and developing a character. For the Minki woman, this results in a balance between femininity, strength and a sense of humour.

The collection draws from the metaphor of a soul-searching fishing trip and incorporates the theme into its designs. Sailor stripes are abundant in a colour palette of red, blue and white.

The models look young but not naive. They are perfectly positioned between their childhood and womanhood - an exciting and experimental time represented through the colour palette and quirky design.

Fish lures are printed onto silk fabrics and wavy seams make up the psychedelic knitwear. Slogans and lettering are heavily embroidered onto sweatshirts with long loose threads left hanging down, un-cut. There is a huge sense of fun and light-heartedness which is balanced well with a touch of grown-up edge.

Minki has taken us from outer-space in AW16 to the mysterious seas in AW17. Who knows where we'll be heading next...

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Tegan Rush | Fashion Week Photographer | @tegan.photography