London Fashion Week has changed! For its last season at the Natural History Museum there's a brand new layout to the tents, which caused much confusion before the now traditional opening show from Paul Costelloe. BFC chairman Harold Tillman announced the move to Somerset House and was greeted by a long oooh amongst the crowd, an oooh that was echoed a while later when Costelloe's finale of chunky black knits with plaited shawl collars took to the catwalk...


Costelloe's silhouette was chunky at the neck and shoulders, flaring out directly below to above the knee, resulting in a slightly 60s swing effect. Fabrics were primarily brocade or knit, and the colour scheme went from grey and gold through to rust, hot pink, red, metallic gold and silver, finally fading into black.

Costelloe does best when he sticks to classic, wearable shapes. The stand-out pieces were definitely the knits, especially the collection of boucle and braided black numbers that closed the show. Also grabbing attention were fluffy mohair knit coats and dresses in grey and chocolate, twimmed with metallic brocade.

Less successful were a brocade jumpsuit with a boob tube underneath (the fabric didn't work for the shape) and a succession of brocade evening gowns with cutouts revealing sheer black chiffon rectangles. They reminded me too much of a mistake I once made studying GCSE textiles, and the combination of fabrics didn't seem to work.

The gold brocades failed a little in their execution, but others - one particular rich blood red and black, looked fabulous in swingy mini-dresses with huge folded collars that drew attention up to the all-important shoulders. Metallic pleated dresses were topped with huge oversize flowers on hems or shoulders (see above) for added effect.

Sporty touches stopped the collection looking staid - leather patches on the shoulders of wool and jersey coats and visible zips on dresses and skirts (one pencil skirt had a big silver zip running all the way up the back, off-centre). Costelloe also reversed the darts on lots of pieces, around the bust, waist and shoulders and even on the sleeves, adding texture and bulk to the shapes.

Overall, this was a surprisingly exciting show that was more hit than miss. Check back soon for more photos as soon as we can get hold of them!

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