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One seasonal step ahead
7:00am Saturday 29th September 2012 in Lifestyle
Gen up on the style season ahead. Lisa Haynes looks at the hottest designer looks at London Fashion Week.
The five-day fashion extravaganza is over and the trends we'll all be wearing next spring have been logged, snapped and lusted after.
More than 80 collections were unveiled at London Fashion Week but certain key shows really help shape the style forecasts.
Here, Lisa Haynes rounds up the catwalk front runners.
:: Antoni & Alison
Celebrating their 25th anniversary in fashion, Antoni & Alison opened London Fashion Week with a live brass band to mark the occasion. Entitled 'New Work', the design duo went with a fresh aesthetic, drawing on artworks that were hand painted and applied as bold prints; brush marks, ink drawings, spray paint and even black felt tip pens. And the shapes? Birthday dresses, of course.
:: Julien Macdonald
Shunning the catwalk's bright lights for one season, Julien Macdonald invited key press to his atelier to present a 'Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct' inspired collection. Named after exotic islands, each piece oozed glamour, from red carpet-ready embellished gowns to itsy-bitsy swimsuits teamed with flowing ombre capes. A-listers ahoy: these frocks are a surefire hit for award season.
:: Jasper Conran
Forget shoes next season, Jasper Conran's models went barefoot on a faux grass catwalk to match the easy breezy California vibe. Think indigo denim, brodarie anglaise and white cotton suiting that had lazy summer days written all over them. Show stoppers included a floor-length patchwork dress and watermelon gingham print gown.
:: Holly Fulton
The sunglasses were big, bikinis small, and Holly Fulton's trademark prints were bathed in bubblegum hues. A sun-bleached summer sojourn to Mexico's beaches provided the inspiration. Lashings of West Coast blue was weaved throughout the collection along with giant roses and pin-up naked ladies providing key themes. These were sun-kissed clothes just crying out for a suitcase.
:: Issa London
The collection was entitled Garden of Eden but it felt more like a tropical jungle. Fresh orchids in hair, vivid hot colours and exotic paradise prints that looked fresh from the Amazon. Pant suits provided a sleek silhouette but it was the flowing halterneck maxis that had the fashion pack dreaming of cocktails at sunset.
:: Moschino Cheap & Chic
Dig out your flares! Moschino's collection had a distinctly late Sixties and early Seventies feel. Orange pantsuits made an appearance along with dungarees, bright colour block dresses and a pineapple shoulder bag that got everyone's mouths watering. As for footwear, models either towered in wedges or strutted in bright sporty trainers.
:: Matthew Williamson
In another anniversary show, Matthew Williamson referenced his first Electric Angels collection 15 years ago by mixing aqua blue and hot pink. More punchy palettes, embellishment and embroidery followed in Williamson's design trademarks along with ombre aplenty. Shoes were the party piece of the day - models strutted in leg-lengthening platforms to launch the designer's new footwear collection.
:: There were wide brim hats, lace gloves and full circle skirts for Temperley's Return to Elegance catwalk. A late Fifties couture model or young Sophia Loren provided the inspiration for the elegant silhouettes in a chic palette of red, pale blue, white, navy, and black. Ribbon skirts were repeated throughout the collection playing on sheer and solid panels for a ladylike peekaboo effect.
:: Stamps and out-of-circulation bank notes provided the backdrop for Mary Katrantzou's print extravaganza. Colourful postage stamps dominated the daywear, drawing on national symbols like birds and flowers from far-flung destinations like Venezuela and Mongolia. For eveningwear, bank notes became the print currency in shimmering brocade, sparkling lurex and crystal mesh.
:: Philip Treacy
One Thriller of a show... Lady Gaga opened, announcing her friend Philip Treacy as "the greatest milliner in the world". Then an army of black models strutted out in Michael Jackson's back catalogue of stage clothing and an equally iconic headpiece to match the look - a sparkling glove, working Neverland fairground and wire cage of flashing lights. Models grabbed crotches and the audience whooped to the Jackson beats. Hats off to Philip Treacy for a millinery masterpiece.
:: Antonio Berardi
Sportswear, but not as we know it. Banish visions of trainers and sweat pants, Berardi's design athleticism conjured up dresses featuring colour blocking and techno fabrics teamed with teetering Manolo Blahnik heels - not made for the gym. The designer shifted from his traditional monochrome palette to experiment with hot pinks and electric blues teamed with softer shades of khaki, lilac and dove grey.
:: Christopher Kane
Inspired by gift wrap with bows and tapes, Christopher Kane offered another gift of a catwalk. Pretty pastel dresses and suiting were toughened up with obscure textures like rubbery bows, clear plastic nuts and bolts, plastic lace and even black gaffer tape. A statement Frankenstein face T-shirt teamed with a sheer organza skirt confirmed Kane's punk pretty contrasts.
In a spacecraft-like dome show space, Erdem presented his other-wordly sci-fi vision to the likes of Anna Wintour, Alexa Chung and Samantha Cameron. Divine dresses landed on Erdem earth, each experimenting with unexpected fabrics and colour combinations that oozed ladylike sophistication. Pastel blue with snakeskin and elegant lace with acid orange threads - mission accomplished.
:: Burberry Prorsum
A host of sporting stars including Murray, Pendleton and Peacock took a pew on Burberry's front row but the collection was all about British glamour. Inspiration came from capes and corsets in the Burberry archives, interpreted with a series of armless wonders in metallic leather, bright vinyl and jewel-coloured satin. But the classic trench wasn't forgotten. The catwalk ended with a Quality Street-style parade of metallic trenchcoat beauties in rainbow colours. Sweet success.
Poodles and gnomes provided the excitement at Mulberry - along with Kate Moss, Alexa Chung and Jessica Ennis on the front row. Set in an English country garden catwalk, the British brand went back to the Seventies for inspiration. Highlights included oversized peacoats, butter soft leather flares, halterneck sundresses, oh, and a giant poodle in a Mulberry coat upstaging a model.
There were more retro references at Samantha Cameron fashion favourite, Roksanda Ilincic. The designer looked to the late Sixties and early Seventies for a more relaxed silhouette than her celebrated ladylike shifts. Models sashayed around Claridge's catwalk ballroom to the beat of Groove Is In The Heart wearing fluid dresses, long hems and even baker boy caps to inject some fun.
Get the look
Alexa Chung entered into the Halloween spooky spirit early at London Fashion Week. Bag her Bat sweater by JW Anderson for Topshop now, £69.99, in selected stores nationwide (0844 984 0264).
Buy it now
Fabulously OTT Vogue editor Anna Della Russo has been rocking some serious bling on the front rows. Check out her new accessories collaboration with H&M, launching in stores on October 4, with prices starting from £14.99 (www.hm.co.uk).
:: Stand tall
Strut like a supermodel with some help from M&S's new lingerie range. The Perfect Poise three-piece range has been developed with the British Chiropractic Association to improve your posture through the use of panels and cleverly hidden padding supporting your back and bust. A bra, body and high-waisted knickers are available in black or natural with prices from £19.50, available in stores and online at www.marksandspencer.com now.
:: Most stylish city
Forget New York, Milan and Paris, Grazia is on the hunt to find the UK's best-dressed city. The fashion mag is teaming up with TONI&GUY to launch Street Fashion Week to find ladies with the coolest closets. From September 22-28, seven cities will be visited, with the most stylish snaps uploaded to www.graziadaily.co.uk/streetfashionweek. From October 1 voting opens to vote for your favourite city. Grazia is also inviting women to show off their wardrobes wherever they live with the chance of winning fashion vouchers from Warehouse.