Roopal Patel’s Ten Most Coveted Pieces From the London Shows

Roopal Patel, Christopher Kane
Roopal Patel, Christopher Kane

“London Fashion Week is on the map,” announces Moda Operandi fashion director Roopal Patel. “This is that sense of quirkiness and whimsy we look for in London.” Many of her favorite runway looks were also the most daring: A sheer cherry-red top and skirt combo at Jonathan Saunders, a pair of electric-green printed pants at Mary Katrantzou, and a leaf-printed puffer coat at Peter Pilotto. “It’s a testament that some of these designers who started out as newbies five years are now global players on the fashion scene,” she says. From neon houndstooth to hit-you-over-the-head floral pants, here are Patel’s 10 standout pieces from the week.

Embroidery and Brocade

“This season embroidery was very important, on lace, leather, and patent. We also saw jacquard and brocade really evolve. The shoes at Peter Pilotto were done in beautiful brocade, and Matthew Williamson’s high-waisted skirt was so fab.” Must-have: High-waisted brocade skirt by Matthew Williamson (center)

Oversized Florals

“We saw floral blooms getting bolder and bigger in London. I keep going back to Erdem’s first look, the patent-embroidered dress. It’s a look that combines poise and a little bit of edge. I definitely need an oversized floral bloom for fall.” Must-have: Embroidered sweetheart dress by Erdem (left)

Power Dressing

“We saw menswear influences with a softer silhouette in New York, and they were bolder, more angular in London. The designers started with menswear fabrics and stepped them up a notch. Erdem took traditional houdstooth and added a shot of neon yellow, and Christopher’s first few looks were in pinstripe. It’s the idea of masculine and feminine elements together.” Must-have: Houndstooth separates by Erdem (left)


“The look here was a sheer chiffon blouse or overlay over a dress. There were varous interpretations of sheer overlays and peekaboo insets this week. Matthew Williamson had a really strong version, layering chiffon over incredible mosaic sequin dresses to create a peekaboo effect. We can’t underestimate lace.” Must-have: Sheer floral blouse and skirt by Christopher Kane (right)

Electric Color

“The darker color palette was injected with bright shades of orange, turquoise, yellow, and green. Jonathan Suanders did an electric green plaid sweater – you veer from preppy to cool in a second. Peter Pilotto placed his bold leaf prints on a puffer coat; I can’t wait to get my hands on it. This is that sense of quirkiness and whimsy that we look for in London.” Must-have: Electric-green top by Acne

Sheath Dresses

“We saw a lot of slim, ladylike sheath dresses at Jonathan Saunders and Erdem – much more tailored and refined. I loved Jonathan Saunders’s red leather dress with the woven bottom; I get happy just thinking about it. The silhouettes this season are the sheath dress, a sleeveless shell with a skirt, or a long and lean pant.” Must-have: Leather and knit dress at Jonathan Saunders (left)

Printed Pants

“I love that designers are playing with pants this season. Here in London, the show-goers are all wearing floral bottoms. Printed pants in general are going to continue, and I think they’ll catch on off the runway as well.” Must-have: Printed pants by Mary Katrantzou (center)  

Fishtail skirts

“We saw a lot of sexy, sultry fishtail skirts, often paired with a long-sleeve tee. Peter Pilotto, in particular, showed fishtail skirts with novel prints.” Must-have: Fishtail skirt by Peter Pilotto (left)


“We started seeing heavy beading in New York, and that continued this week. Everyone had some interpretation of shine, from Matthew Williamson to Michael van der Ham. There are elements of it running throughout the embroidery and embellishment.” Must-have: Mosaic sequin dress by Matthew Williamson (left)


“There’s lots of velvet coming down the pipeline. You saw elements of it in the applique jackets at Christopher Kane and the velvet-trimmed dresses at McQ. And Peter Pilotto’s cap-toe shoes were so dynamic.” Must-have: Nicholas Kirkwood for Peter Pilotto velvet cap-toe shoe (center)

Roopal Patel’s Ten Favorite Pieces From London