Anyone who is anything in style was jostling for a seat at London Fashion week.
With innovative and utterly desirable new takes on fashion for next year, it set the capital ablaze once again last week – and proved indisputably what a world leader Britain is when it comes to fashion.
Next spring/summer will bring an explosion of sun ray prints, blooming florals, sorbet pastels and super-sized straw hats. The sunny style outlook was much appreciated by the starry front row line-ups, including Kanye West, Kate Moss, Pippa Middleton and Kristen Stewart.
“London’s fashion pack were treated to a bright and promising spring/summer ’12 season,” says Eleanor Robinson, womenswear buying manager at my-wardrobe.com
“The shows were awash with saturated pastel hues and sun-drenched shades.”
There’s just one drawback with this fresh-off-the-catwalk fashion... there’s a bit of a wait until spring to see the big trends filter on to the high street, so why not tap into some key styling tricks right now...
Jonathan Saunders transported the front row into holiday mode with a collection inspired by the sugary shades of South Beach.
Think Miami skies, peach sunsets and citrus fruits in Fifties-style silhouettes with full, below-the-knee skirts.
Mulberry continued the coastal theme with an English seaside look crammed with pastels, maxi dresses resembling traffic light lollipops and swingy anoraks in lemon yellow.
Another Miami-inspired palette for House of Holland’s ‘Pastel Punks’ collection also lit up the catwalk.
Wear it now: The current winter season is more about jewel bright colour blocking, but you can still add an injection of pastels to a dark outfit with a shirt or zingy accessories. It will lift your entire look.
It’s as though the catwalks had been sprinkled with fertiliser. Flowers were sprouting in endless collections at London Fashion Week, no more so than at Mary Katrantzou, who picked a runway of fresh blooms to flaunt her bright floral prints.
Ashish went all-out with sequinned petal power, clashing prints together and topping off looks with pretty fresh flowers laced through models’ battered Dr Marten’s boots.
It was a crafty approach at Christopher Kane, with beautiful cut-out applique dresses inspired by sticker books. The floral theme continued at the garden of Erdem with demure dainty prints, petal-shaped lace and flower embroidery.
Wear it now: Winter florals are bang on trend. Just choose your prints in muted hues or set them against a dark backdrop to make them seasonally appropriate.
Bold black and white stripes were the suck-it-and-see element in Paul Costelloe’s Sixties-inspired collection.
Brighter and with texture aplenty, Burberry’s stripy offering had a tribal edge with African weaves and raffia woven detail featuring on trademark trench coats.
With a nod to the early-Seventies Jaeger heyday, stripes were multicoloured, incorporating horizontal dashes of mustard, navy, orange and emerald.
Amanda Wakeley opted for deckchair chic with stark red and white wide stripes on floaty silk parachute dresses and maxi skirts.
Wear it now: Summer may be associated with red, white and blue nautical stripes but now you should stick to an autumnal colour palette. Look to variations of the same tone or be brave with multicoloured jewel brights.
There was a golden moment at Topshop Unique, who took inspiration from Cleopatra.
Models walked like Egyptians with gold leaf foil on their heads and the collection glistened with hieroglyphics, heavy jewellery and bling accents.
There was more shimmer and shine with Christopher Kane’s stellar collection. He opened his catwalk show with dresses of silver lurex yarn and brocades, and closed with crystal-encrusted frocks that looked like walking jewellery boxes.
Giles went for more of a disco approach with his Swarovski crystal-encrusted silver laser-cut leathers, some with swinging fringing that shimmered as models strutted down the runway.
Wear it now: Why wait for spring? The party season is approaching, so what better excuse to work shimmering metallics, sequins and brocade? You can even wear for daytime, pared down with a chunky cardigan or a casual jacket.
Naked flesh has never looked so good. The trend for sheer fabrics was repeated over and over in many different guises at London Fashion Week.
Richard Nicoll opted for minimalist shapes and futuristic fabrics to flaunt his see-through vision. His powder blues – a big trend colour – flaunted his gauzy dresses to the max.
Marios Schwab went top-to-toe with full-length, sleeved sheer maxi dresses, worn over metallic leotards.
Julien Macdonald’s intricate barely-there designs were heavily embellished with ruched lace, sequins, beads and embroidery for a catwalk show-stopper.
Wear it now: Unlike catwalk models, always ensure your dignity remains in tact and your best assets are covered up with the relevant undergarments. You don’t have to do peekaboo top-to-toe, so work with mesh panels or simply the sleeves or hem of a dress for a hint of slinky sheer.