Given how uncertain the future of fashion looks, you can forgive designers for looking backwards. Maybe that's why retro fever is everywhere - as the press remain embroiled in debates about the sustainability of the punishing fashion week schedule, the prevalence of buy-straight-from-the-runway and the excess of designers all trying to build their own brand, the past just looks a little bit nicer and brighter. Maybe that's also why today's Jonathan Saunders collection felt so optimistic and cheerful with all its psychedelic rainbow prints - it almost felt removed from reality, a antidote to the denims and trainers that litter the front row.
Fashion appeared like costume. That's not to say that this was unwearable, more that it moved away from the reality and pragmatism than has defined the runway offerings of lots of London's brightest stars, and suggested clothing for transformation. It was more sensual and punchy than last season, which, with its ruffles, petals and embellishments felt pure and deliberately youthful. Maybe it was all in the shoes, last season they were flat, this season Louboutin has crafted lace-up boots, some of which stretched up to the thigh, seemingly in homage to Allen Jones, whose exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts won rave reviews and sparked numerous identical Instagrams of cross legs from the fashion pack. Indeed, accessories were vital to the energy of this show - stylist Katie Grand has used Jonathan Saunders eyewear and retro space-age earrings to add drama and punch to the collection, which when pulled apart featured shapes and silhouettes that felt familiar for Saunders. But maybe that's what this was about; going back to his roots. Saunders won support when starting out for his bright, bold prints so why not revisit then with aplomb. It's a time of change for his label. He didn't show menswear in January on the London schedule, and rumour has it he's scaling back his men's offer completely. What better time to go back to the start and re-promote your greatest strength? So while the in-your-face message was a pop-tastic sixties homage, if you looked closely past, present and future were all combined and equally prioritised.