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LFW designers and their separates concerns

Putting a proper collection together is no mean feat. Range planning, especially for London Fashion Week designers who have always been accused of being a bit lax in this area, is essential to crafting a business out of latent creativity.

For too long, many of the so-called hot young things - several of whom are old enough to know better - have been too wrapped up with the dress to fully consider other options. This blinkered approach has stunted the growth of these businesses, but the spring 14 edition of LFW showed green shoots that suggest London’s finest have finally figured out that the way forward is to offer options to buyers, so they in turn can give customers other ways to buy into new(ish) luxury labels.

Leading the charge for the next generation has to be Richard Nicoll, whose spring jackets, neat blouses and precise skirts were an exercise in commerciality meets craft. For all the dramatic pompoms and pretentiousness seen elsewhere, what Nicoll presented was a collection of interesting clothes people will actually want to buy.

Similarly, but aesthetically opposite, was House of Holland, where a LA gangs vibe was mixed with plenty of separates to keep looks easy to wear. Same too at Christopher Kane - who surely has been eyeing Kenzo, with its uncanny ability to nail the sweater/sweatshirt of the season with unerring regularity - as the Scot sent out some of the most desirable graphic sweats.

The accessories offer is still not quite there, but many labels assure me that this is because they have less control over quality in the early stages and don’t want to overstretch themselves. They will come in time, just as I hope more sensible but satisfying separates will. After all, no histrionics or theatricals ever trump the bottom line.

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