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Buyers hail ‘best ever’ LFW

Designers praised for producing mature, wearable collections with international commercial appeal.

Buyers have said this season’s London Fashion Week (LFW) was the “best ever”, praising the creativity of designers and their mature, commercial collections.

The strength of the schedule was apparent as buyers picked a glut of shows as their highlights. Ed Burstell, managing director of London department store Liberty, named Peter Pilotto, Erdem and Jonathan Saunders, among others, as his autumn 12 favourites.

Ruth Runberg, buying director at London designer indie Browns, praised Christopher Kane, Ashish and Leutton Postle but added: “Meadham Kirchhoff was my favourite because the guys took a real risk … and it paid off as the boldest statement in a sea of mostly safe collections.”

Helen David, womenswear general merchandise manager at Harrods, said: “It was exciting to see leading names like Stella McCartney, Moschino Cheap & Chic and McQ on the schedule this season. It’s great to see the presence of these established names. They continue to strengthen the international profile of LFW.”

Lisa Byrne, design director at womenswear retailer Warehouse, said: “There is something about this year, with the Jubilee, the Olympics – it just feels like it should be a celebration of all the amazing British talent we have in this country.”

She added: “I loved both Burberry Prorsum and Mulberry and think they will be really influential for the British high street, particularly all the tweed, checks, textural heritage fabrics and quintessential English attention to detail in the tailoring.”

Ruth Chapman, co-founder of London designer indie mini-chain Matches, said she thought the English country heritage look seen at Burberry Prorsum would be a commercial winner: “It’s quite easy to wear and it’s a good round-the-town look.”

Judd Crane, director of womenswear at Selfridges, said there had been really strong outerwear interpretations, namely oversized or padded styles from JW Anderson, Acne, Mulberry and Peter Pilotto.

Crane said: “A trend that is both directional and practical is always likely to perform well commercially, so I can see padded outerwear proving extremely popular.”

He added: “This season feels like a turning point for London. It’s not just about wildly creative and out-there collections; the clothes are sexier, wearable and more mature.”

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