The Cyprus brand named after its designer was in its third season at London Fashion Week with a striking collection of dresses that teams grey or black backgrounds with bright appliqué embellishments. Taking zips and elastics as the inspiration Alexander used them to create rainbow panels that added a youthful zest to the sombre fabrications. Shapes are fitted, with a body-sculpting wearability in the fabrication, where viscose was blended with two or three per cent Lycra. There are 25 pieces in the collection which also includes dresses that have textured panels made from sections of cording.
£72 to £240
00 357 99 59 23 70
South African born, Birmingham based designer Jacob Kimmie majors on some serious technical dexterity but tempers it with a commercial eye. A self-taught tailor and dressmaker his creations include sculpted wool outerwear and skirts with asymmetric frills and pleats stitched to satin silk tea dresses. Capes, macs and sheer tops are updated in the 50-piece strong collection for autumn 09, which takes in a palette of black, cream, mustard, gold and pink.
Prices from £60 to £400
0121 270 6053
After a stint working at Alexander McQueen, St Martins MA graduate, Graeme Armour’s debut range presents a stark palette of black and white interspersed with gold and punchy blue. It is a concept-heavy range with zip details and pleated straps adorning dresses and chunky cashmere knits alongside a black mini-dress with a backpack sewn into the construction. Simple leather dresses and panelled white versions are easier to wear and come in A-line and sexy nipped-in silhouettes.
Prices from £50 to £585
020 7254 4893
Three year old French brand Numanu made its LFW debut in the Estethica section thanks to its use of organic cotton and vegetable dyes and its pursuit of sustainable partnerships with Indian communities. Like the best ethical labels though, its design credentials outshine its manufacturing ones, and this subtly embellished range of silk and cotton satin dresses, wrap tops and blazers, slash and cowl-neck tops, pencil skirts, trousers and coats looks sophisticated and commercial in a palette of black, fawn, teal and red. Numanu is sold though Adili in the UK and has its own Paris shop.
Prices from £20 to £110
There are 80 pieces in the autumn 09 range from the London based Cypriot designer Ruth Erotikritou with most using super-fine knitwear worked into multi-strand rainbow stripes on tops, wraps and dresses. With families of colour palettes anchored to either green, lilac or grey these also featured metallic Lurex panels and stripes to create a range of subtly bejewelled styles in a boutique-friendly range. All fabrics are made in-house and are hence unique to the label.
Prices from £59 to £83
020 7243 8339
Lungta De Fancy
A collective of five London based Japanese designers, Lungta De Fancy creates a wide range with 100 styles for autumn 09including outerwear and dresses to footwear in a spectrum of patent leathers. The brand personality is centred on girly, feminine looks, seen this season on lightweight dresses in treated polyesters, fine wools and silk. A harder edge is incorporated with a rock theme that uses zip and appliqué detailing.
Prices from £80 to £280
020 7016 7780
Anne Louise Roswald
Prints based on Spanish poppies add a pretty floral element to Ann Louise Roswald’s autumn 09 collection, which veers from structured glamour to sheer floatiness. With about 100 pieces in the range the unifying theme is the designer’s feminine principles. Jacquard coats in heritage silhouettes, heavily embellished dresses and newly introduced silk jersey ranges which offer lower entry prices all come in a palette that includes cream, graphite, ink, teal and dusky blues with shots of purple and cherry.
Prices from £40 to £350
020 7250 1583
Structure and texture were key components of LP.BG’s autumn 09 collection. Pagoda shaped shoulders, cropped jackets and cinched-in or high-waisted dresses and trousers were softened by quilting, either all over or as a trim, and velvet, creating a pretty, but edgy feminine range. An exclusively black and midnight blue collection, LP.BG also served up long, simple, but back-exposing dresses, Italian wool trousers, quilted kimono jackets, fitted shorts and a velvet jumpsuit.
Contact 07902 902123
Fair trade label People Tree ramped up its designer collaborations this season by unveiling a tie-up with London Fashion Week catwalk designer Eley Kishimoto, comprising two re-worked archive prints on kimono tops and shirt dresses. Other collaborations included Bora Aksu, now in its fifth season, Jessica Ogden and Karen Nichol. The People Tree mainline, which is reasonably priced given its fair trade credentials, saw leaf-print and puppy-tooth dresses, cable- and Fair Isle knits and peg-leg and cigarette trousers.
Prices £16-£75 (People Tree mainline)
Contact 020 7739 9659
Hannah Marshall stuck to her signature black for autumn 09, with a structural, armour-like collection. Structured shoulders, treated stingray panelling and inverted, snakeskin cap sleeves featured on tight dresses, with one soft, organza option that could be hardened-up with a snakeskin brace belt. Other key fabrics included satin, velvet, leather and lambskin, highlighted across stretch velvet separates, a velvet jumpsuit, leather and wool-jersey panelled leggings and cropped leather and lambskin jackets.
Contact 020 7352 0002
Every piece in Sia Dimitriadi’s collection features a silk mix, justifying its relatively high price points. But the design credentials are strong too, with an Ostrich feather, silk chiffon ruffle and silk tulle lining dress as the highlight piece at £533. Dresses are key to the range and come in prom and baby-doll styles, including a viscose and Lycra mix style at the lower end of the price spectrum. A predominantly black collection, the only other colour in Sia Dimitriadi’s autumn 09 collection was peach, seen on a tulle overlay dress. Other pieces include a trapeze coat with silk chiffon collar and cuffs, and slim-cut trousers.
Contact 00357 22 3750 39
Few collections at the Exhibition at London fashion Week were as texture- and detail-heavy as Conditions Apply’s autumn 09 range. There was no holding back, with fringing, felt, sequins, embroidery, beading, ruffles and cut-out shapes featuring across the collection, which was made up of earthy tones with bursts of gold and emerald green. Key pieces included a gold fringed dress, holey and floral cut-out capes and a Grecian-style silver dress with a deep, undulating cowl neck. Matte sequins and beading were seen as trims on dresses and all over separates, while a small handbag range rounded off the collection.
Contact 020 7739 6510