As mentioned in my New York round up - London Fashion Week is where my fashion butterflies get all a fluttery and this season was no exception! Rounding this down to a top ten was impossibly hard, I left out the amazing prints perfect for a Princess at Issa, the British Preppy cool at Paul Smith and and the nutso colour grunge explosion at Louise Gray. All worthy of inclusion, but a Top Thirteen doesn't quite have the same ring to it!
So here's to a Top Ten that's the best of the best!
There wasn't a piece at Jaeger London that I wouldn't dream of owning. I literally loved everything. The collection was pretty, feminine - a nod to Thirties daywear, a sniff at Victoriana and a wink at the Seventies. The palette was perfection and the silhouettes in line with everything I'm looking forward to for Spring. Art Deco inspired lines and patterns were also present.
Quite simply the collection was made for me and I'm confident I could be persuaded into investing!
Burberry Prorsum was another simply sensational collection - a wonderful spread of colours, textures and patterns. Having spent the whole summer living in midi skirts it's been such a pleasure to see them on the runway, and in such a wonderful array of colours.
Beading, prints and accessories seem very much inspired by both Aztec patterns and Hmong textiles - and I simply adore the whimsical, equestrian inspired caps. The whole look is "preppy stupid" to a t - and the bohemian element creates the perfect look for me. I'm also going to DIY the beaded ankle bracelets - so cool - and potentially a work out too!
Interestingly enough (and this was definitely a trend for all the London shows) this collection is far more appropriate for a Los Angeles "winter" - no way we could handle that many layers in our Spring/Summer!
He's really keyed into the collective consciousness, midi skirts, vintage inspired dresses, preppy separates but he's totally thrown off the neons and jewel tones for a palette of muted bright pastels that is both fresh and quite simply gorgeous.
The Queen of Prints produced what was expected of her, a cacophony of simply sensational prints combined with some truly breathtaking silhouettes. The beautiful thing about Mary Katrantzou's collections is that she doesn't rely on the print - if these dresses were made of black cotton - they'd still be phenomenal. The prints just take her work to a whole other level.
I think Mary Katrantzou is one of the most exciting designers in fashion right now - it's not about trends - it's about truly exceptional pieces. From this season on, I'm putting "Wearing a Mary Katrantzou" on the bucket list.
Peter Jensen injected a little rockabilly into his collection this season - his usual peter pan collars were present in a lot of his looks and dresses abounded. The palette was primary colour focused and felt very 80's does the 50's. It's not my favourite Peter Jensen collection ever - some of it did feel "done" and it lacked some of the "pizazz" and whimsy that I've grown to love from Peter Jensens work.
I particularly adored the printed peplum dress and the one shoulder dress with the lace shirt.
The fact that I loved Erdem this season, last season, the season before that and so on and so forth is really a no brainer. What's not to love? Perfectly pretty dresses in delicate but colourful prints and ethereal fabrics.
It's ladylike, lovely and thanks the sheer details and bare shoulders, oozes an appropriate level of sex appeal.
The done/undone appeal of Roksanda Ilincic's Spring 2012 collection was just wonderful. Beautifully crafted 60's inspired dresses with modern and voluminous shapes, shocking colours and art driven prints paired with chunky knits and undone hair creates this 60's meets grunge wonderfulness.
If it hadn't been the runway I would have loved to have seen these dresses with beaten up Chucks. I want these dresses and more importantly I want to be this girl.
When I was a teenager I was obsessed with Matthew Williamson - I thought he was the epitome of glamour and pretty much everything I wasn't when I was a teenager. As he evolved and I evolved he started to go a little Versace on us (not a fan..sorry) and I moved past him and hadn't really paid any attention. Then he did his Macys collection - again I didn't pay much attention - but I did buy that lilac and green leopard print dress that I have lived in.
And now this. I loved this collection, from it's citrus palette to tropical prints and Hmong inspired textiles and embroidery, it was so fabulous. South East Asia was all over this collection - in a way that felt neither literal nor overdone. The collection exuded a Seventies inspired sex appeal that was augmented by it's laid back resort-chic styling with expensive details like beautifully cut oversize blazers. I'm back on the Matthew Williamson bandwagon. Big time. (I also love his lovely long locks...!)
The Spring 2012 collection from Sass and Bide - did feel a little left over from this seasons trends - but the intensity of the colours and the amazing detail certainly amped up the volume. Flourescent, acidic colours ruled. Complicated beadwork and detailing combined with the slouchier "beachy" silhouettes avoided any rave referentials and kept the look expensive and modern.
I would live in the simple maxi look paired with fluro statement jewelry on the right hand side, all summer long.
When I was growing up, runway fashion, to me, was never something you actually wore, it was an aspirational idea of someones artistic vision. Not something you'd actually go out and buy, or at least not all at once. Looks were designed to inspire, and be worn minimally. Nowadays, and perhaps the economy is to blame, almost everything I see at fashion weeks is wearable, and you see me littering my reviews with "I'd wear that", "I want that", "I need that" - and whilst it's fun and all to see yourself as this follower of fashion who could quite easily wear something right off the runway (sizing aside) and feel comfortable - well where's the fantasy in that?
That's why Meadham Kirchhoff and their "Marie Antoinette meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane meets Whatever Happened to Baby John (yes that's a drag reference) meets an actual baby" collection is in my top ten - it's inspirational, it's out there and it's art - and I'd actually like to see more of this on the runways please!