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Delight at evolution, not revolution, at LFW

The trend for femininity and easy wearable pieces received a strong welcome from buyers at London Fashion Week, which enjoyed a positive reaction despite the inclement weather in the capital.

Particular praise went to Burberry Prorsum and Christopher Kane, as well as rising stars Jonathan Saunders, Erdem and Roksanda Ilincic, for offering the week’s standout collections. The mix of new trends and styles which have evolved from autumn 13 also pleased buyers.

“London has not disappointed – once again there are so many fresh and exciting designs by the world’s most talented designers,” said Laura Larbalestier, buying director at Browns in South Molton Street.

“Everything has been really feminine this season. Simone Rocha, Christopher Kane and Erdem all had a feminine twist to their shows,” she added.

Carmen Borgonovo, fashion director at etailer, agreed, calling spring 14 a highly sophisticated and grown-up season.

“There is a strong return to femininity and easy wearable pieces,” she said.

“The tone for spring 14 is light and delicate,” said Helen David, head of womenswear at Harrods, who highlighted pastel shades, sheer layers and reworked floral patterns and decorations as key developments.

“I don’t feel there has been a huge leap forward, just a subtle move on,” said Lizzie Walker, head

womenswear buyer at London boutique Start. “I’ve seen a lot of white in every show, sheer layering at Erdem and Richard Nicoll and the pleated skirt has been given a longer length, as seen at Christopher Kane.”

Judd Crane, director of womenswear at Selfridges, concurred: “A few trends continue from autumn. Commercially speaking, Richard Nicoll’s iridescent bomber is a nice continuation within the sports luxe trend, which isn’t going anywhere.

“Erdem absolutely blew us away, and Marios Schwab felt like a real comeback collection.”

Adam Kelly, fashion and beauty director at Fenwick Bond Street, said: “The mood at all the shows has been upbeat and the collections really strong.”

Sarah Murray, owner of Jane Davidson in Edinburgh, described a “confident and optimistic” atmosphere. She added: “Several of the key trends for autumn 13 which are already performing well are continuing into spring 14, so that bodes well.”

Henry Graham, co-founder of two-store London retailer Wolf & Badger, said: “There have been fewer but better shows than usual. Somerset House was well laid-out with a strong range of brands suited to an international market.”

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