Another action packed day at the tents for fashion folk, and I was there capturing all the drama and action…

The highs

I love a good print, and Holly Fulton is one of my favourite print designers. I love her quirky use of colour and texture, and that sunshine yellow which seems to pop up each season. The collection was playful and lively, yet still sophisticated, the floor length gowns were stunning as were the shift dresses and I was totally captivated by the leather maxi skirt, if only it could be mine! The collection was inspired by Coco Chanel and her trip to Scotland, and there was a real sense of Chanel at play here. A fab collection.

 I was really taken with Michael van der Ham’s SS11 collage collection, and so was very excited to see his AW11 offering. Thankfully I wasn’t disappointed, it was certainly more toned down than last season, but the velvet dresses were completely lustworthy. The olive velvet was just divine and shapes created modern day Grecian goddesses out of the leggy models. Michael is definitely one to watch.

Now, I am about to be very controversial, but I haven’t been a massive David Koma fan… I hear you all gasp. But for me I have no desire to have metal piping attached to my hips or breasts, so I was a tad nervous for his AW11 collection, but thankfully Koma proved me wrong. Picking up on the key polka dot trend, David Koma’s collection was far more sophisticated and refined. The tight fitting silhouette was sexy but modern and the coats and jackets were very well tailored, all in all it was a very strong show.

It was another hit for Christopher Kane’s whose granny chic collection is sure to be adored by the fash pack… only Kane could make crochet cool again. Not only did he make crochet cool but he also made it sexy (without going for a Woodstock-reject vibe). Dresses were adorned with panels filled with brightly coloured liquid which conjured images of those notepads and pencil cases you had as a child, and poked continuously. The feeling you get with Christopher Kane is that he’s an inventor, he sets out to try, rework and innovate rather than stick to the norm or banal. This does mean his designs do teeter on the edge of good taste, but then we do love a risk taker.

Also on a high was Erdem with his artistic take on his signature prints. The silhouette was more fitted and there was a fabulous use of texture with knits paired with satin; lace, velvet and chiffon also worked beautifully together. As ever it was the floor length gowns that really stole the show. Giles was also very much on a high with his elegant Victorian inspired collection. There’s been a real sense of sophisticated sexiness this season and Giles Deacon really tapped into this, it was a little femme fatale, a touch dominatrix with a sprinkling of power dresser. Cinched waists and lots of goat hair made this collection, it was all incredibly striking and going straight to the top of my wish list.

In the middle

For me Peter Pilotto just missed the mark, the smudged prints were lovely, and there were some strongly tailored pieces, but as a whole it just didn’t excite me. There are some designers that have their seasons, for example Matthew Williamson excels at Spring/Summer whilst Balmain is all about Autumn/Winter, perhaps Peter Pilotto’s a S/S designer.

Meanwhile, fashion darling Mark Fast also hit a bit of a middle as well, his ultra sexy, tight-fitting ensembles are a celebrity favourite, and have been admired by fashion lovers the world over. So, what went wrong? Well, the introduction of leather was not as successful as his knits, and his three-dimensional knits were certainly a new direction but I don’t know if they always worked that well. It is good to see Fast playing with new styles and textures, but it just doesn’t feel that he’s quite there yet.

The lows

I sauntered down to Piccadilly Circus to watch the live streaming of the Burberry show. I was undeniably excited, fashion history in the making I told myself, and it started of well enough (although perhaps all the screens showing Burberry would have been more effective). Then the live feed kept freezing and then would unfreeze and have jumped three models. Then the show suddenly vanished whilst TFL gave us all an update on how all the tube lines have a good service… fashion rage began to bubble, TFL finally vanished and we were now in a new section of the show, more freezing, more jumping, tourists asking for their pictures to be taken not realising that something great is meant to be happening, and then suddenly on the screen you can see snow and models wearing see-through capes and the show is over. It was really quite disappointing, it was a wonderful concept but the execution not so great. Hopefully next season Bailey will have another trick up his sleeve which doesn’t include TFL telling us that the tubes are working.

 The ‘It’ show

This was of course Burberry Prorsum, and no one knows how to give a show quite like Christopher Bailey. Streamed live to Piccadilly Circus, and the clothes were available to buy as you watched on your iPad or iPhone, Bailey is clearly streets ahead of his contemporaries when it comes to using technology to sell. The show was of course jam-packed with celebrities and fashion darlings, it was a beautiful glossy affair complete with a snow shower as a finale. Burberry left its moody biker chick behind and opted for 60s Jean Shrimpton instead. Super bright coats were wonderfully eye-catching, and the matching bags fun, the tan and olive tones which followed were undeniably Burberry and the monochrome finale is bang on trend. But there was an awful lot of coats, there were very few coatless ensembles and whilst I appreciate that Burberry is famous for its coats, a few more outfits would have been nice. It will be Bailey’s take on the duffle which will no doubt be the most copied coat in the land, I rather fancy the bright blue.

Front row

Monday was a very starry day with Mario Testino, Samantha Cameron, Douglas Booth, Alexa Chung, Anna Wintour and Daisy Lowe as just some of the famous faces taking their front row pews.

Look out for

Granny chic looks set to be a key trend, so get rifiling through Nana’s cast offs girls. Polka dots are THE print to be seen in, and goat hair the only fabric. Also brights are still remaining very key.

I’m coveting: Giles’ goat hair skirt; it’s so wrong it has to be right.

 

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