The reason why I love London Fashion Week so much is because it’s always more about promise rather than polish. The clothes here aren’t really expected to be extremely, beautifully tailored or consistent in concept like those shown other fashion capital like in New York, Paris and Milan and being that Britain is currently on the forefront of fashion, designers are more than willing to take risks and over-step the boundaries and create things that are more extravagant and unusual. Some extremely innovative and inventive, coo-coo ideas emerged this season for A/W08-09 – one’s that would make the Vogue girls twitch and loose control because they are simply to-die-for! Some, majorly beautiful as-well-as a few un-understandable ones. London Fashion Week, which culminated with collections from Topshop Unique, Biba and Jaeger and Welsh king of style and elegance from Julien Macdonald dazzled them all with sequencing and embellishment and also saw debut presentations from some extremely talented young designers who have a knack of merging wearability with exquisite design and fresh ideas the likes of Christopher Kane who is one designer who did so with his slim, body-skimming dresses in electric colours; Danielle Scutt jumped in with bold new clothes for the modern working women and the fellow Fashion East designer Louise Goldin threw in some very impeccable knits, including spidery knitted leggings and micro-dresses. Biba’s collection also showed us these micro-mini’s, very short but amazing with strong, rigid shapes, outstanding shoulders and necklines with quite a bit of that razzle-dazzle here and there.
Then there came in the stronger ‘London labels’ - those that have already made a name for themselves and also of which continuing to prevail today. Thrown in was a bit of Roksanda Ilincic to that list alongside Richard Nicoll and then add Basso & Brooke, Marios Schwab, Gardem and PPQ to name but a few. These are designers who are slowly but surely putting London back on the international fashion map. For make-up, I noticed a couple of outlandish beauty trends such as crimped hair and modern cornrow braids. But what really stood out to me most vividly was the look of goth lips. Designers like Julian MacConald, Nathan Jenden, Ossie Clark and Inbar Spector all chose a midnight lip to reflect a chic and distinguishable edge. The make-up was very dark and strong but it worked. Not my style though but It definitely carried a shock value on the runway. The evening dresses were a high point. Although they didn't offer anything radically new, tiered dresses in black and peacock silk, and a raspberry wool shift with tapestry embellishment very reminiscent of Gustaf Klimt - looked suitably glamorous. A major trend that seemed to be heralding the catwalks at LFW were big shoulders, it seemed as though it had leaked somewhere, somehow in the fashion industry that over emphasized shoulders were the way to go for A/W, so we saw quiet an interesting mix. Some of the collections were very structured and it was all about offering something that was a bit larger than life with the oversized coats and clinched waistlines on exaggerated hips giving the woman a much fuller form as seen at Jean-Pierre Braganza and Jasper Conran. The construction was very clean with little or no detailing but the finish was impeccable. It also celebrated the return of Vivienne Westwood who showcased her Red label which had a bit of everything from women in underwear to sporty and grunge. Anne-Sofie Back presented us with ‘The Naughty secretary’ who stepped onto the runway with little sexy tweaks of underwear hanging-off the models clothes and rips on clothing - It was sex on foot but also in a very sophisticated clever way. I loved Jenny Packham who showed a lot of evening-wear and the work was very detailed, feminine with a lot of lace and ruffles. It was a sophisticated and romantic collection that was at the same time quite elegant.
Sadly not with one but a few of our London designers departed us to go and showcase in New York so our city now in desperate need for some fresh new talent and because so, I suppose it then gives the flexibility of playing around and trying new things on our catwalks. Karen Walker just showed in New York - Sophia Kokosalaki showed her own label in Milan and is designing a range for esteemed old French fashion house Vionnet and Camilla Staek also showed in New York if this doesn't prove that this city hatches new talent with spectacular success I don't know what will and there's no doubt it will continue to do so. So why not let London be celebrated as a vital source of innovativeness and for it's brave new designers. London has held its spirit through some despairing times and now has plenty to be proud and shout about, a roaring success overall -