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Buyers applaud creative and commercial LFW

The autumn 14 edition of London Fashion Week received a resounding thumbs up from buyers, who commended the high levels of creativity and commerciality.

Trends including oversized outerwear, fur, shearling and tailoring were shown on the catwalks at LFW, which ran from February 14-18, watched by buyers from retailers including Fenwick and Selfridges and London designer indies Browns and Wolf & Badger.

John Reid, owner of designer retailer GarmentQuarter in Bristol, highlighted the Vivienne Westwood Red Label, Burberry Prorsum, Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto shows as standouts.

“Visually it was very commercial, but I’m not sure whether the pricing will be commercial, as it looks as though there have been some expensive fabrications used,” he said.

Justin O’Shea, buying director at etailer, was enthusiastic: “There was such an amazing display of creativity, which is becoming London’s calling card.”

“There was a very couture feeling on the runways,” he added. “The product was far more elevated than in previous seasons. Glamorous embellishment and unique fabric combinations – combined with the fashion-forward edge London is known for – created a new look which will be very desirable.”

Peter Pilotto was highlighted by Giulio Cinque, owner of designer indie Giulio in Cambridge, alongside Christopher Kane.

“I saw a lot of references to Miuccia Prada, as print was really strong,” he said. “Bold, graphic colours were also very popular, presumably as they photograph really well. It’s a great event and it appeals to a global audience.

London is the capital of the planet so far as fashion is concerned.” Over the five days, 77 designers showed presentations or catwalks. New additions to the schedule included Joseph and Whistles, who joined names such as Erdem, Meadham Kirchhoff and Jonathan Saunders.

The British Fashion Council estimates that orders of more than £100m are placed during LFW each season, and the International Guest Programme, which offers grants to high-profile international buyers and press to help them attend the shows, generates more than £65m of orders.

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