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London Fashion Week

Laura Weir

Designers were divided between bright and dark palettes on the autumn 11 catwalks.

It was a tale of two palettes at London Fashion Week. There were lively presentations from designers such as Burberry Prorsum, Jaeger London and Jonathan Saunders, with riots of clashing colour that contrasted with the dark austerity that rained down at Giles, Julien Macdonald and Mark Fast as they kicked back against the optimistic mood.

It was back in September in Jil Sander and Gucci’s spring 11 collections that the colour popping began, as brights drenched the catwalks.

For autumn 11, clashing spring-like primary colours and jewel tones will offer an alternative to the traditional palette of berry tones and browns.

With such complex colours at play, LFW designers kept cuts simple, and at Burberry Prorsum it was via clean-cut, vibrant outerwear that creative director Christopher Bailey schooled his customer on the tactics of wearing colour. Jonathan Saunders embraced colour clashing while Aquascutum played with intelligent pattern cutting.

Then it was on to The Royal Courts of Justice where Drapers was lucky enough to see Giles Deacon rehearsing his show finale an hour before the Giles catwalk began. And what a show it was, the best of the week in fact. The show invite was designed like a court summons (its arrival spread fear through the Drapers post room), and Deacon took no prisoners with his austere looks. Inky black feathers and lace covered high Edwardian necklines and full skirts and dominatrix corsets were key.

Mark Fast closed his show with a black leather dress that had a dramatic funereal train, while Julien Macdonald’s show was set to a soundtrack of death metal music as cobwebbed knits and séance-inspired velvet gowns strutted down the catwalk.

It was left to Mary Katrantzou to shine the brightest light on proceedings with a collection that was breathtaking in its vibrancy.

For more images and video coverage from LFW, go to womenswear/london-fashion-week

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