The invite to Anya Hindmarch’s show read “Expect Severe Delays” and it did just that, starting much later than its scheduled time. However, Anya Hindmarch is one of the most anticipated events on the London Fashion Week calendar: she has a reputation for holding some of the most entertaining presentations.
Road work is what you usually expect on the way to a fashion show, but for her Autumn/Winter collection, the M25 motorway was the source of Hindmarch’s inspiration. She has a talent for finding humor and whimsy in the mundane of every day, and indeed the collection made everyone in the audience grin. Little details made guests smile, such as a leather handbag charm in the shape of a pine cone car air-freshener, or a white bag embossed with the iconic Little Chef logo that transported us back to times when we sat on the highways, gazing at the road services signs.
Hindmarch’s trademark leather, chandelier tassel keychains have been given a traffic makeover and were in the shape and color of bright orange traffic cones. Bags were stamped with road work symbols and signs: “Slow Down” clutches and U-turn signs on a leather handbag are set to be the next must-have accessories. Hindmarch kept a few of her food-themed bags that were so popular in past seasons, like clutches resembling Kit Kat bars or a tube of Polo mints.
Her success comes from listening to her customers who demanded a wider range of products from the quirky designer. For the first time, she revealed an extension to her line, with coats, knitwear and furs receiving the Anya Hindmarch makeover. A stand-out piece included a fur stole with a stop sign on the front and bright orange fur vests were made to resemble high-visibility construction jackets. But the clothes served more as accessories to the bags. This is Anya Hindmarch: bags remain the main event.
Hindmarch is known for picking a theme and sticking to it through and through. This season’s M25 motorway theme was detailed so finely that even the models walked down the runway making angular turns and sudden stops on a catwalk that had been transformed into a glossy highway, complete with road markings and speed limit lighting.
In true Hindmarch style, the show ended with a bang as The London Gay Men’s Chorus all came onto the catwalk dressed in fluorescent construction vests and hard hats, finishing the show with a beautiful chorus and leaving audience members cheerful and happy on the final day of London Fashion Week.