Another London Fashion Week has come to an end, and with legendary British brands like Stella McCartney and McQ showing alongside other big hitters like Tom Ford and Christopher Kane, the Capital has certainly done all it can do to prove that not only can London pull in the big names, but it has become a premiere international platform for designers to showcase what's hot in the fashion world.
|House of Holland A/W 2012
This was definitely a London Fashion Week to remember. The runways were full of glittering pizzazz and designers pulled out all of the stops on the catwalk: theatrics at McQ, flash mobs at Stella McCartney, towering furry monsters and French bulldogs at Mulberry and, at the heart of it all, incredible talent and a refreshing amount of wearable pieces, proving that while British designers are fearlessly pushing fashion boundaries and leading the pack, they are also putting out smart collections with serious commercial appeal.
However, it wasn't only the big hitters making the big impressions. Fresh-faced designers like Michael Van Der Ham, Ashish, and Felder Felder demonstrated that although they haven't been on the scene for as long as the more established labels that presented, they were more than capable of keeping up.
|Meadham Kirchhoff A/W 2012
(Source: go runway.com).
Patterned print played a strong part on the catwalks of cheeky London designers Henry Holland, Louise Gray and Meadham Kirchhoff, demonstrating that they are certainly not afraid to mismatch. Bold geometrics were layered over tribal print, digital designs, chevron sequins, gradient houndstooth, and Nicholas Kirkwood pop art. And if it wasn't their bold colour choices or extreme popularity that brought these designers together this season, it was the simple fact that among even their quirkiest signatures, there were some fabulously wearable pieces.
Holland has produced exquisitely designed collections for the last three seasons, establishing that while he is still undeniably playful, he is coming into his own as a skilled designer. The House of Holland woman may not be the only one who has done some growing up.
Other London cult favourites, Louise Gray and Meadham Kirchhoff, are always among the most coveted and impossible shows to see during LFW. Both collections featured unbelievable drama for next season with sky-high headdresses by Nasir Mazhar at Louise Gray and delicious disco divas at Meadham Kirchhoff along with rows and rows of adorning and equally unique fans.
Holland, Gray and Meadham Kirchhoff really showcased that at the heart of all the glitter, these deviant little designers can really do just that - design. All three showed that they have the skills to back their highly accredited fame in the fashion community thus far.
Off the main LFW runways, Vauxhall Fashion Scout and On|Off (a parallel schedule of presentations), showcased and nurtured edgier, lesser known, up-and-coming designers. At times during the past week, these designers competed neck-and-neck with the main schedule as press and stylists manically dashed across town and queued down the block with the same (or more) excited anticipation as they had for shows like Issa and Burberry.
|Louise Gray A/W 2012
(Source: go runway.com).
A-list designers Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane, and Sarah Burton for McQ may have felt some pressure on their shoulders, not only from their talented younger peers biting at their ankles but also by the strong, heavily impacting collections they have left behind in the past.
There was a lot to live up too, but of course as one can expect, these designers are stars for a reason and the crowds were not disappointed by their undeniably extraordinary craftsmanship and detail, along with avant garde ingenuity that each collection brought forth.
McCartney made her return one to remember by presenting at the end of a lengthy dinner with a flash mob of table hopping dancers and Amber and Yasmin Le Bon being carried through her star studded audience full of the likes of Rihanna, Anna Wintour, and Kate Moss. Streamline cocktail dresses, and body contouring gowns where breathlessly flattering and chic, adorned with jaw dropping costume jewellery, giving us a taste of what next week in Paris has in store.
Kane and Burton similarly showed why they have become internationally respected. Burton created dresses made of layered tulle and hundreds of hand cut silk flower petals at Alexander McQueen's diffusion line, McQ, while Christopher Kane explored his darker side with pinstriped fur, tailored leather, longline jackets, and subtle leopard print in deep electric shades of blue, crimson and purple.
This London Fashion Week most certainly kept the editors, stylists and, most importantly, buyers busy. With almost every collection showing beautiful and inspiring pieces, along with exciting emerging talent, the wide variety of fierce and stylish British fashion truly made its mark.
Sign up to receive a weekly dispatch from
The Genteel is committed to delivering quality journalism, unearthing the forces shaping international fashion and design, through the lens of business, culture, society, best kept secrets and street style. As multi-dimensional and stimulating as its readers, The Genteel is the inspired destination where informed readers converge with in-depth fashion and design coverage.
A worldwide collective of contributors currently form The Genteel. On a daily basis our team dispatches thought-provoking and insightful articles from the streets of Oslo, Toronto, Beirut, Moscow, United Arab Emirates, Seoul and beyond.