Posted by Melanie Rickey, Fashion Editor at Large

Crunching through the substance and hot air of London Fashion Week post-event is a task almost equal to attempting to do the thing itself. Despite spending half of my time in a car (thanks Mercedes, I worship at your altar) crawling in traffic between Somerset House, Tate Modern and grand avenues behind Pall Mall I did manage see a lot before getting home to put baby Horatio to bed. And then I was able to watch live streams. Ahhh. Loved them. My favourite kitchen table shows were J.W Anderson and Simone Rocha who I will be seeing in person with their clothes this weekend in Paris, and I can't wait. With an uninspiring Milan Fashion Week just wrapped, I am still discovering layers of London Fashion Week that gave me goosebumps.

One recurring theme was that of young designers looking to their grandmothers way of dressing for inspiration.  Henry Holland named his AW13 House of Holland range 'Nana Rave' inspired by a fictional teenager from 1989 who herself gets inspired by her grandmother's wardrobe of funny patterned skirt suits, clunky shoes and tunic dresses; a sort of 60s fashion hangover viewed through the eyes of a bored teen from the 80s. How a guy born in 1983 can channel this fashion vibe in 2013 gives it (intentional) ncomedy value; his is just an idea of a perceived memory and that pretty much sums up modern fashion ideas, even the best ones.

Brazilian NewGen designer Lucas Nascimento (whom Bethan recently interviewed)  is obsessed with old women in general. "I love watching them walk down the street," he told her when she previewed his AW13 show, "what fascinates me is the proportions of the clothes, the way their skirts hit below the knee, how they colour block peculiar colours and generally the way they put their outfits together."

Simone Rocha said this of her collection for Autumn/Winter 2013. "The collection is inspired by my grandmothers: my Irish granny Margaret Gleeson and my Chinese grandmother Cecelia Rocha, my relationship with them and my relationship with clothes. It is a story of respect that is rendered in the fabrication, the consideration and understanding of cut and detail."

Her words made me think of my own Irish nanna, Janie Clynch of Lathaleere, Baltinglass, County Wicklow, a mother of seven and independent woman whose catchphrase was "Don't vex me child" said with a loving smile and a discreet whisht motion with her hands. "Out of my way. Go and play." She was never a fashion plate, but she loved a periwinkle blue cardigan and a sensible skirt, always worn with her St Christopher medal, a discreet crucifix and very often a jazzy hat and well tailored coat.  I can't help seing shades of Simone Rocha's show when I look at Nanna in this photo with my cousin Marita. Miss you Nanna.

Janie Clynch circa 1971

Simone Rocha AW13

Simone Rocha AW13

Lucas Nascimento AW13
Lucas Nascimento AW13
House of Holland  'Nana Rave'


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