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London Fashion Week

With highlights galore, LFW bolstered its place within fashion’s top four cities.

London was praised for its commercially led collections for spring 12, as designers embraced wearable but striking colours and prints, ready for customers to inject freshness into their wardrobes.

The biggest name at London Fashion Week, Burberry Prorsum, wowed press and buyers alike with a collection brimming with reinterpretations of staples such as trench and parka coats, most notably through its African prints and raffia and woven details.

Erdem and Christopher Kane upped the floral ante. While Erdem’s delicate garden florals will attract the 30-plus market, Kane’s layered florals will appeal to the younger end of the high street.

If it’s trend direction you’re after, Jaeger London was another highlight show. The brand fused many of spring’s emerging trends, notably yellow, cutaway detail and sheer overlays, and translated them perfectly to the high street.

Fashion’s queen bee, US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, was in town and attended a number of shows ranging from long-established designers such as Nicole Farhi to the more avant garde in Meadham Kirchhoff, which provided the most entertaining show of the week.

Despite a few problems, including models being poached early to cast for Milan Fashion Week, London strengthened its place within fashion’s top four cities. The British Fashion Council has also expanded its emerging design talent showcase, London Show Rooms, from Paris and New York to include Los Angeles and Hong Kong for spring 12, a welcome sign of the continued dedication and support for British designers.

Off the record

  • Meadham Kirchhoff put on the performance of the week, with knicker-flashing cancan dancers and a troupe of pirouetting children. Even the icy US Vogue editor on the front row was seen smiling from behind her glasses.
  • Talking of underwear flashing, one former bridesmaid with royal connections narrowly avoided a wardrobe malfunction on the front row, much to the disappointment of waiting paparazzi.
  • Traffic jams meant many editors had to abandon the comfort of their chauffeur-driven cars and run across Westminster Bridge in order to make it to one show on time. The clatter of high heels could be heard all along the Thames.
  • London’s front rows were crammed with celebrities this season, including Kanye West, Samantha Cameron, Kelis, Pamela Anderson, Kate Moss, Kristen Stewart, Tracey Emin and Gemma Arterton.
  • Some of the more unlikely front rowers included tennis player Andy Murray and actor Richard E Grant.
  • One eager designer was spotted sneakily checking out their own collection on the Somerset House computers not long after their show. Were they happy with the reaction?
  • Famous fashion journalist Hilary Alexander got the party started at PPQ, bopping along to the 1990s dance soundtrack from her seat.

Drapers comments

Marie Davies, junior fashion editor

The elegant Erdem show, which showcased this season’s floral and sheer trends in one of the best lights, was a highlight of mine. In addition to florals, lightweight Lurex knits, seen at Richard Nicoll, are my top tip – perfect cover-ups and relevant to a wide age demographic.

Graeme Moran, junior fashion writer

Although at first I felt underwhelmed, the more I look back at Christopher Kane, the better it gets. The floral motifs, the origami cuts and folds, the embellishments – it’s a definite contender for favourite show and one that promises to be a hit with the fashion crowd while also filtering on to the high street.

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