Fashion Week’s front-runners

Julien Macdonald with models on the catwalk during his autumn/winter 2014 London Fashion Week show at The Royal Courts of Justice in London. Picture: PA Photo/Anthony Devlin.
Julien Macdonald with models on the catwalk during his autumn/winter 2014 London Fashion Week show at The Royal Courts of Justice in London. Picture: PA Photo/Anthony Devlin.
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Discover London Fashion Week’s highlights for the season ahead...

The style merry-go-round of clothing collections has stopped spinning for another season.

Over five whirlwind days, 77 designers showcased their Autumn/Winter 2014 collections at London Fashion Week. And an estimated 5,000 show-goers braved stormy weather (in sandals and bare legs) to be there. These are the 10 moments that stopped fashionistas in their high-heeled tracks:

FINE OLD TYNE

They’re used to late-running catwalks but the style set’s journey from New York to London Fashion Week had a delayed start following a detour to avoid high winds. A plane packed with fashion press, high profile models and US Vogue editor Anna Wintour was diverted to Newcastle on Fashion Week’s first day. Anna and co. either bedded down in Newcastle overnight or began the long journey south to London, making big, dark sunglasses a must-have accessory for disguising dark circles.

BAG LADY

She’s reigned the runways for a couple of seasons but Cara Delevingne is still in vogue. The ultimate It girl accolade? Mulberry announced they were naming a handbag after her. Not just one, but an entire Cara for Mulberry Collection, including a limited edition inspired by the model’s lion tattoo. Cara made other notable appearances at Burberry and Giles, where she walked and filmed her way down the runway using a mobile phone - the first ever live ‘selfie’ video taken by a model on the catwalk.

PAPARAZZI PLEASERS

Photographers swarmed at Burberry when Hollywood heart-throb Bradley Cooper took his front row seat. Fresh from the Baftas, the actor watched his model girlfriend Suki Waterhouse walk the runway. The couple later glammed up to attend the Tom Ford show together. A paparazzi scrum surrounded the celeb-studded Block G at Topshop Unique to snap the famous front row. Kardashian, Kendall Jenner sat next to Anna Wintour while brand boss Philip Green talked shop with Kate Moss who’s set to launch a Topshop collection in May.

BLANKET BRIGADE

From faux rain to falling petals, Burberry’s finales are always a fashion spectacle. Led by Cara Delevingne, the Burberry model army for AW14 stormed the catwalk in personalised ponchos, each brandishing the model’s bold initials. “I wanted everything to be feminine but with strong coats and big ponchos - it all had an earthy artiness to it,” said chief creative officer Christopher Bailey. The soundtrack was provided live by Paloma Faith belting out Only Love Can Hurt Like This.

STATEMENT PRINTS

The latest way to wear your lipstick or clutch bag? On your clothing. Glamorous applique motifs heralded a maximalist approach for AW14. House of Holland showcased a co-ordinating jacket and skirt with sparkling embellished lipsticks for a red on red statement. Both Holly Fulton and Osman went hands-free with dresses and skirts featuring oversized manicured fingers carrying clutch bags.

SUPERMARKET SWEEP

Accessories designer Anya Hindmarch went wild in the aisles with household brand names on handbags. A giant barcode complete with conveyor belt catwalk provided the setting for her ‘Counter Culture’ collection. Recognisable Daz, Frosties and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes ‘packets’ were transformed into statement bags carried by models in detergent-bright whites. As the front row totted up their shopping list for next season, dapper salesmen danced like Fred Astaire during the finale.

PUTTING ON THE GLITZ

Some shows are more party than catwalk and Julien Macdonald knows how to celebrate in style. In the grand setting of The Royal Courts of Justice, the star wattage of the celeb-packed front row almost outshone the dazzling dresses. Fellow Strictly Come Dancing star Abi Clancy’s dance costumes may have been the inspiration for the beaded and sequinned showgirls that stormed the runway, transforming the venue into a house of disco.

NATTY NECKWEAR

Look out for foundation marks, high-necks are the neckline to covet for next season. In a trend that was also high on the agenda at New York, a whole host of designers championed the funnel neck for Fall. Digital trend tracker, EDITD placed turtle necks in their London Fashion Week top 10, spotted at (brace yourselves) Peter Pilotto, Paul Smith, Topshop Unique, Holly Fulton, Pringle, Joseph and House of Holland.

RED CARPET MOMENT

A cinematic buzz surrounded the Baftas halfway through Fashion Week, and Erdem carried the awards season vibe through with his elegant collection. Models padded down a plush deep red carpet wearing embellished Nicholas Kirkwood heels and flats. Dresses were worthy of A-lister or royal wardrobe appointment with luxurious metallic brocades, sparkling appliques, and figure-skimming velvet black dresses.

RUFFLING FEATHERS

Remember Carrie Bradshaw’s oversized flower corsage? John Rocha’s mega-ruffle accessories for AW14 make it look positively subtle. His collection didn’t just embrace ruffles, the designer practically shrouded models in them. Sculpted from layers of organza, dress and coat creations included statement capes, corsage belts and even headdresses with giant matching hats that floated down the runway.

HOW THE CATWALK INFLUENCES THE HIGH STREET:

Meadowhall’s resident fashion and beauty adviser Bethanie Lunn went to the capital to cover next season’s trends and work out what is likely to end up in the shopping centre’s malls this autumn.

Look out for biker and bomber jackets - and prepare to go nude, says Bethanie.

“House of Holland and Marios Schwab continued to champion the jacket styles that are currently in vogue, plus pops of colour such as orange, red, pink and shades of purple were also huge,” says Bethanie.

“A nude palette was seen in the classic selection of macs by Margaret Powell, the sparkling camel and nude tones at Jasper Conran and the sheer and lace combinations at Marios Schwab. But bold colour was weaved in through accessories and detail - from sunglasses as seen by Felder Felder for Silhouette to glossy over-the-shoulder bags (Orla Kiely), and ruffle detailing at the neck and hems.”

To wear nude and camel tones now, head to M&S.

Vibrant red is also likely to be stopping traffic: “Panels of red on graphic floaty dresses plus piping on sharp shirts as seen at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi brought red into the mix,” says Bethanie, adding clashing colours is set be a big trend too. “My favourite show, House of Holland, used bold contrasting colours teaming Schiaparelli pink with orange and navy blue with metallic green”.

Accessories-wise, look out for marabou pom pom-trimmed shoes, metallic brogues and Oxfords, plus high-top sneakers and flats.