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London Fashion Week: day four, buyer diary

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Harvey Nichols’ group buying director, Laura Larbalestier, shares her highlights from the penultimate day of London Fashion Week.

London Fashion Week is in full swing, and day four brought with it another jam-packed schedule. After day one and day two were dominated by new names and creative talents, and Burberry took top billing on day three, day four brought London’s other big-name brands their time in the spotlight. 

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Chalayan, autumn 19

The fashion crowd gathered for an early morning opener from emerging designer Richard Malone, who presented a playful and feminine collection brimming with popping patterns and 1980s rouching. Other key collections from the day followed, as Roksanda, Erdem, Christopher Kane and JW Anderson presented collections that showcased the sophisticated and commercial credentials of the capital’s top-performing names.

Two brands making waves in the womenswear sector – Mother of Pearl and Rejina Pyo – also offered their collections today, and presented designs catering to the modern woman with a taste for luxury. 

A celebration was also in order at Chalyan, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this season, with a dramatic show at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, inspired alternately by 1980s “voguing” and Shakespearean-era fetish. Bodices, balloon sleeves and Elizabethan-influenced silhouettes have been a key trend in the London shows so far. 

Opulence and glamour were important aesthetics for designers once again. Dancing feathers, voluptuous brocades and voluminous ballgown shapes were present across the catwalks, in particular at Erdem and Chinese designer Huishan Zhang. 

Laura Larbalestier, group buying director for luxury department store Harvey Nichols, shares her highlights from a busy day of shows.  

Why do you attend LFW?

It is [Harvey Nichols’] home town and we have great talent here, so it’s definitely a must attend.

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JW Anderson, autumn 19

Are there any LFW brands that currently perform well for you?

We are seeing strong performance from all of our UK brands. I think when people come to London to shop they often prefer to invest in British brands.

What are you looking for in the LFW shows this season? 

I think London is always known for new talent. However, as many British brands are now very established businesses for us, I am looking to see how these existing brands are evolving.

How was today at LFW and LFW so far?

It’s always a nice atmosphere here and feels more intimate that the other cities – I think it’s easy to see a lot in London.

What collections stood out today?

JW Anderson was stunning, unexpected and had so many pieces you would love to own.

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Erdem, autumn 19

Are there any trends or must buys emerging from the collections so far? 

There have been plenty of feathers this week – as seen at both Roksanda and Erdem’s shows. It was also interesting to see a return to glamour and there was lots of tailoring in every collection.

Today there was an interesting use of new proportions, new volumes in sleeves and shoulders at every show.

The Rejina Pyo show was just the perfect autumn wardrobe. I love that the collection is ageless and modern – it’s so wearable.

How was New York and what shows are you looking forward to in Paris and Milan?

New York was the best I have seen for a few seasons – particularly with new brands at a contemporary price point. I’m looking forward to all the shows in Paris and Milan as it’s all about the discovery.


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