After a strong showing in New York last week, London had a lot to live up to with its AW fashion week, particularly with eyes on the capital due to the Olympics and the Queen’s diamond jubilee. And it more than delivered with spectacular showings from the old guard including Stella McCartney, Burberry, Sarah Burton for McQueen, Mulberry and Nicole Farhi.
The use of striking colours and intricate patterns showed an optimism that hopefully the economy will also reflect come autumn. Although there were still some plunging necklines, like New York last week the higher neckline wasa prominent trend. Also echoing NY were military chic, black leather gloves and the plethora of waist belts.
Here are our pick of the best shows from London Fashion Week AW 2012.
The Russian designer’s standout, heavily embellished outfits have been worn by fashion forward celebrities such as Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. He says that he seeks inspiration for his designs from ‘The Tate Modern Gallery’ in London.
What To Take From It: Sheer inserts, colourful houndstooth and quirky animal images.
Emilio de la Morena
Emilio describes the type of woman who wears his clothes as: ‘strong and modern. She knows her own mind and is not afraid to stand out; nor is she scared of expressing herself in a vibrant and bold way.’
What To Take From It: hourglass silhouettes, coats with incorporated hoods, shoe boots.
Known for her graphic prints, Holly has again excelled for AW12. She says her signature piece is: ‘a digitally printed, full-length monochrome dress in silk jersey. It sums up my ethos of things that are easy to wear yet luxurious, incorporating my favourite colour combination of black and white, with a feel of contemporary elegance which you can take anywhere.’
What To Take From It: Don’t be afraid of prints, mix black with brights.
Mary is known for her surreal prints, embroidery and lampshade skirts, a trend that has been picked up by the high street resulting in Mary designing a defusion range for TopShop. She says that her inspiration for this collection was: ‘still life, crayon box and Victoriana.‘
What To Take From It: bright colours, swirling patterns and structural skirts.
Matthew is one of the elder statesman at London fashion week and this collection goes back to his all time best when he debuted at New York Fashion Week 2002. He describes his inspiration for this collection as: ‘Interior décor of palaces in St Petersburg, Russia; Jeff Koons’ art and military coats.’
What To Take From It: Clashing colour, mixing patterns and plains, frivolous lace.
McQ Alexander McQueen
After designing the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding dress last year, all eyes have been on Sarah Burton and how she continues to honour the design sentiment of the late Alexander McQueen. Her much anticipated winter showing lived up to the hype of wearable fashion with a couture edge.
What To Take From It: Military wool coats and belts, tulle skirts or underskirts, floral embellishment.
Alice Temperley always designs flowing womanly and ultimately wearable gowns and this collection is no exception. She says that she was inspired by: ‘Paintings and portraits from the beginning of the Renaissance movement, rich damask textures, tapestries and wallpapers with ornate jewel-tone colour palettes and elaborate gilt carvings and sculpture,’ which were clearly evident in her rich palettes.
What To Take From It: boho embroidery, folk-art prints and prim chic.
Vivienne Westwood Red Label
Undoubtably the Queen of the London fashion scene and it’s greatest ambassador, Vivienne Westwood presented a fabulous collection of autumnal outfits that were sophisticated yet remained edgy. ‘ My customers are the best ambassadors for my clothes,’ she says. ‘When people discover them, they seem to have an edge. Honestly, although I’m very proud of my customers, I also love to dress the supermodels. Glamour has a sense of archetype and I adore those archetypal beauties. Fashion is alive when it is being worn and talked about..
What To Take From It: Individual style, structural tailoring and assymetrical necklines.