John Herrera spring/summer 2018 collection catwalk show for LFWLondon Fashion Week SS18
Hailing from Manila in the Philippines, Herrera is recognised for his evening and occasion wear and this season his line instills the theme of discovery through the use of prints, tailoring and fabric silhouettes which aim to give the impression of sailing to new worlds.
He draws inspiration for his Armada collection from the Spanish’s discovery of the Philippine Islands, using map prints which have been rendered onto opaque and translucent fabrics. The fabric has been manipulated and structured into design pieces such as skirts and dresses. One example of this was a grey statement skirt which was paired with a cream structured map jacket with large shoulder pads that are reminiscent of boat sails.
The combination of soft and sheer fabrics, with stiff materials is meant to imitate the theme of sailing and discovery, and is particularly effective for a dress that seemed to reimagine a corset, made from ruffled cream fabric and combined with tall black boots. This corset inspired dress seemed to imitate a coil of rope, subtly denoting the discovery theme.
Contrasting to last season when Herrera presented a line incorporating bird print into tailored jackets, large skirts and structured dresses, Herrera focused on and also incorporated design elements from the era of King Phillip of Spain (whom the Philippines are named after) through the use of noble necklines and rich 16th-century hues. Face makeup of a strong contour and dark lipstick were hidden beneath a mesh face overlay and Victorian-inspired high-volume backcombed hairstyles drew attention to the ruffle collars and the high neck line of some of the garments. Collars adorned numerous garments, most impressively seen via a two-tiered, red ruffle that appeared on a black cape-like dress.
Herrera has permeated a seamless integration of a historic period inspiration to be infused with contemporary design through digitally printed fabrics. These have been cohesively intertwined with hues of sepia and brown to reflect this visually. Case in point, one of the most successful examples of this was a two tone coloured map printed dress, which was accessorised with long black gloves and also another standout item was a short map-printed dress which was accompanied by a deep-red long smokers coat.
Since his first showing at the International Fashion Showcase in 2015, Herrera has gone from strength to strength and has manipulated the intricacies of fabric, design and digital textile printing technology to convey a historical, yet personal to his own background and experiences, garment collection for his first collection to be showcased via the catwalk.
Photos: Simon Armstrong