The five-day fashion extravaganza that turned all eyes on London may be over, but the most lusted-after trends that hit the catwalks certainly are not.
They are the key looks we’ll all be wearing next spring, when high street chains and designers alike catapult them into our fashion consciousness and have us scurrying to copy.
More than 80 collections were unveiled at London Fashion Week, but here are the front-runners expected to shape next year’s style forecasts...
Antoni & Alison
Celebrating their 25th anniversary in fashion, Antoni & Alison opened London Fashion Week with a live brass band. Entitled ‘New Work’, the design duo used hand-painted artwork as bold prints; brush marks, ink drawings, spray paint and even black felt tip pens.
Shunning the catwalk’s bright lights, Julien Macdonald invited key fashion writers to his design studio instead to present a collection inspired by Sharon Stone in the movie Basic Instinct. Named after exotic islands, glamorous pieces ranged from red carpet-style embellished gowns to itsy-bitsy swimsuits teamed with flowing capes.
Should we forget shoes next season? Jasper Conran’s models went barefoot on a fake grass catwalk to match the breezy Californian vibe of his collection. All indigo denim, broderie Anglaise and white cotton suiting, it had lazy summer days written all over it. Show-stoppers included a floor-length patchwork dress and a watermelon gingham print gown.
The sunglasses were big, the bikinis were small, and Holly Fulton’s trademark prints were bathed in bubblegum hues. A summer sojourn to Mexico’s beaches provided the inspiration. Lashings of West Coast blue was weaved through the collection along with giant roses. Prints featuring pin-up naked ladies provided another key theme.
The collection was entitled Garden of Eden but it felt more like a tropical jungle. Models wore fresh orchids in their hair and vivid colours and exotic prints looked fresh from the Amazon. Pant suits provided a sleek silhouette, but it was the flowing halterneck maxis that had the fashion pack dreaming of cocktails at sunset.
Moschino Cheap & Chic
Dig out your flares! Moschino’s collection had a distinctly late Sixties and early Seventies feel. Orange pantsuits made an appearance along with dungarees, colour-block dresses and a pineapple shoulder bag. And models towered in wedges or strutted in bright, sporty trainers.
Matthew Williamson was also celebrating an anniversary and harked back to his first Electric Angels collection of 15 years ago by mixing aqua blue and hot pink. More punchy palettes, embellishment and embroidery, Williamson’s design trademarks were combined with some sombre tones. Shoes were the party piece of the day and models enjoyed strutting in leg-lengthening platforms to launch the designer’s new footwear collection.
There were wide brim hats, lace gloves and full-circle skirts on Temperley’s ‘Return to Elegance’ catwalk. A young Sophia Loren provided some of the inspiration for the elegant silhouettes. A chic palette of red, pale blue, white, navy, and black. Ribbon skirts were repeated throughout the collection, using sheer and solid panels for a ladylike peekaboo effect.
Postage stamps and out-of-circulation bank notes provided the backdrop for Mary Katrantzou’s print extravaganza. Stamps dominated the daywear, drawing on national symbols like birds and flowers from far-flung destinations. For eveningwear, bank notes were the currency, worked in shimmering brocade, lurex and crystal mesh.
One Thriller of a show... Lady Gaga opened and announced her friend Philip Treacy as “the greatest milliner in the world”. Then an army of models strutted out in Michael Jackson’s back catalogue of stage clothing, Treacy’s headpieces matching each look. The audience, whooping to the Jackson beats, said hats off to Philip Treacy for a millinery masterpiece.
This was sportswear, but not as we know it. Banish visions of trainers and sweat pants, Berardi conjured up colour block dresses in techno fabrics teamed with teetering Manolo Blahnik heels. The designer shifted from his traditional monochrome palette to hot pinks and electric blues teamed with softer shades of khaki, lilac and dove grey.
Inspired by gift wrap with bows and tapes, Christopher Kane offered pretty pastel dresses and suiting. They were toughened up with rubbery bows, clear plastic nuts and bolts and plastic lace. A statement Frankenstein face T-shirt teamed with a sheer organza skirt provided a punk contrast.
sporting stars including Andy Murray and Victoria Pendleton took a seat on the front row for a collection all about British glamour. Inspiration came from capes and corsets found in the Burberry archives. The famed raincoat was displayed without sleeves, reworked in metallic leather, bright vinyl and jewel-coloured satin.
Poodles and gnomes on the catwalk and Kate Moss, Alexa Chung and Jessica Ennis on the front row, the British brand played to its roots. The theme was English country garden, with a Seventies twist. Highlights included oversized peacoats, leather flares and halterneck sundresses.
Samantha Cameron’s fashion favourite, Roksanda Ilincic looked to the late Sixties and early Seventies, producing a more relaxed silhouette than her celebrated, lady-like shifts. Models sashayed wearing long, fluid dresses.