One Month On - Our London Fashion Week highlights
One month on from London Fashion Week, we've had time to digest, go over the pictures again and think about the real highlights of the week. Even now, there are some shows that stick with us, though it was difficult to pick from an amazing schedule of shows, both on and off schedule. Here are just four of the shows we think will dictate what we're wearing in Autumn / Winter 2012-13.
Mary Katrantzou's show is always a LFW hot ticket, delivering intricate prints made up of unusual objects you'd never expect to see on the catwalk. This season, she ramped it up yet again, with dresses emblazoned with typewriters, trims made up of sharpened pencils and loads of stationery-inspired touches to add to the usual oversize jewels and textures. Branching out into eveningwear with bold maxi dresses and adding some sheer touches with fluffy, frilly babydolls, every new look was another chance to gasp. It shouldn't work, but it really, really does.
The Topshop Unique show can often be a bit of a crazy mix of 80s and 90s trends that looks cool on the catwalk but are more difficult to translate to real life if you're not a slim, artsy type in your very early twenties. So it was a surprise that the Autumn / Winter 2012 collection was a far more classic, subdued look, a huge departure for the label. It seemed the Topshop Unique girl had grown up a bit for the colder weather, choosing a Burberry-inspired look heavy on cool coats and outerwear with a high-end grungy touch that harked back to early Marc Jacobs. It was a grown-up, wearable range that eschewed the usual gimmicks and over-styled touches to appeal to a wider market, and it really worked.
If Mary Katrantzou is the queen of LFW prints, Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos are her kings. The duo are known for their bold prints with modern, space-age touches and a futuristic feel, but they branched out more where it comes to texture for Autumn / Winter, ramping up the drama with it. This season influence came from the far east, with oriental florals and a range of dresses inspired by Japanese 'Light Trucks' (think 'pimp my lorry'), while a partnership with an outerwear brand saw their bold graphic designs on puffa jackets and gilets for the first time. Fur trims in bright colours added texture to the designers' trademark slim-fit dresses, and hemlines hit the floor with the first range of eveningwear. It was a step up from just bright prints, and showed a dedication to growth and expansion for the young designers. Next season we're hoping for swimwear too - imagine a cutout Pilotto swimsuit!
McQ Alexander McQueen
Anyone who thought the first show from Alexander McQueen's diffusion label McQ would be a watered-down version of the main label's shows was in for a surprise on entering the indoor woodland that provided the setting for this spectacle. A leaf-strewn double-width catwalk played host to models in sharp military-inspired coats, moving into beautifully embroidered and embellished New Look-inspired party dresses and - for the finale - two intricately embroidered ballet-length cocktail frocks with sheer sleeves, one in black and one in white; the bridal look worn by Kristin McMenemy as she pulled a rope from the ground and followed it through the woods to a hidden nightclub. As the show closed, the audience were invited to follow Kristen's journey themselves...walking through a misty, cold forest in the middle of a warehouse was definitely the most memorable moment of fashion week for our team!