The first day of London Fashion Week – now operating a hybrid physical/digital schedule – got off to a colourful and optimistic start on 16 September with a collection by Bora Aksu that paid homage to Dutch socialite and muse Mathilde Willink and her "exuberant" life.
Married to the Dutch artist Carel Willink, Mathilde was known her maximalist "un-Dutch" style, which led to her becoming the muse of Chinese-Dutch designer Fong Weng. Following a bitter divorce from Willink she died in 1977 ending a life that was a blend of beauty and tragedy.
Aksu did not hold back in paying tribute with a collection featuring floral prints layered on silk taffeta in bright pinks, greens and blues. The designer is known for his romantic style but he is also known for his sharp tailoring and this was used to great effect to offset the volume and sweetness of the collection.
A fine-checked jacket layered over a sun-ray pleated skirt and shirt in the same pattern (which in turn were layered over a red taffeta shirt and under-skirt) and a salmon pink suit layered over a pretty knit provided a great new take on workwear, as we venture back to the office, while knitted tops and dresses provided the perfect layering pieces for day.
Handbags inspired by 18th century doll-house, the occasional headscarf (reminding us of our Dutch heroine) and over-sized 70s-style Linda Farrow sunglasses completed the life-affirming looks, as did a healthy helping of early September sunshine.