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Fashion champions

Imagined as a Greco-Roman wrestling grudge match, the victor among spring 08’s fashion weeks had to be London.

A week spent watching John Major watching paint dry would almost certainly be more captivating than the ditchwater designs seen in New York, which ranked last place with a ‘Must try harder’ in red pen followed by countless exclamation marks. Third was Paris, which with its cascades of ruffles and flouncy silhouettes was too overtly feminine.

Milan’s kaleidoscope of retro shapes provided plenty of interest for till-conscious designer buyers and beat Paris to second place. But it was London that stole the crown this season. Confident, commercial and creatively challenging in equal measures, London’s fashion renaissance reached a high last month when fresh-faced designers Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab and Richard Nicoll fanned the flames of international interest sparked three seasons ago by the likes of Giles Deacon and Jonathan Saunders.

Designer buyers are pleased as punch because the Brit boys are beginning to get the basics right. You know, little things like delivering on time, and ensuring the garments haven’t fallen apart the minute they hit the rails.

Then there are high street buyers and merchandisers who have no doubt watched the catwalks with pound signs flashing in front of their beady eyes. All those easily translatable feminine trends. But which ones to back? Predicting the winners will be the high street’s biggest challenge, because unlike spring 07’s smock shapes there is no single trend champion on the spring 08 horizon.

What are your thoughts on the quality of the most recent crop of catwalks, and which was your particular favourite? Also, based on what you have spotted on the runways, which styles do you believe will score points with high street shoppers?

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