London Fashion Week, Day One: a complete review

Well we are all running around here like crazy editors at London Fashion Week. I haven’t seen one show yet that Hilary Alexander has scurried out of before the rest of the crowd has a chance to notice the show has ended.  But it’s well worth the effort involved in getting around to all of these shows on time.  London is known for it’s innovative designs.  It’s a week where designers are free to create at will and experiment with new trends for clothing.  The world watches as fashion history is made. So you can understand why we all want to be in the front row as these new looks are revealed. The first day in London we’ve picked up on a number of different directions designers have decided to choose with this season. Here are a few little things we’ve noticed:

1. Explosion of digital prints on textiles for dresses, leggings and tops.

2. Less of an emphasis on fur – have seen it used very sparingly. 

3. Hemlines are shorter and V-necks plunge deeper.

4. Tribal is back in full effect.

5. Metallics are used as accents on the clothing and with jewelry – a very strong element in the new season thus far for both New York and London.

Here’s a quick visual of yesterday’s catwalk shows….take some time to enlarge the photos – it’s worth the extra effort. And for those of you unfamiliar with the designer, there are a few notes to brief you…

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Motorcycle Jackets

Necks and chests accentuated by deep V-neck lines

Short hemlines

Graphic print textiles

Bodyamr is designed by Amr Ali, who is London born and studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design. His label was started while he was working with Nicki Haslam (the famed interior designer and socialite). The label is known for their long elegant contemporary evening wear and slinky, provocative drape dresses, with a plethora of famous followers.

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Latex leotards with frills

Alexander McQueen type short graphic print dresses

Strong colour blocking

Emphasis on waistline with specific detailing

Designed by Daniela and Annette Felder, german twin sisters who studied at Central Saint Martins together. They’ve interned with Robert Cary-Williams and milliner Stephen Jones. Felder and Felder was founded in 2006 and debuted at London Fashion week in 2008. They have quite the following with celebrities such a s Gwyneth Paltrow, Carman Kass, Rihanna and Courtney Love regularly stepping out in their designs. You would also be hard pressed to name a fashion magazine in which their label has yet to make an appearance. 

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Structured shoulders

Extremely short hemlines

Cutaway dresses

Fur! (finally)

Solid and neutral colours

Hakaan makes his way into the fashion world after being awarded with the first prize at the “Young Fashion Designers Contest” organized by the Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporter Associations while he was still studying fashion design at University. He succeeded in attracting everybody’s attention with his fashion show. Rifat Ozbek,who was a spectator of Yildirim’s show was really impressed and praised Yildirim’s work saying:” A new star is born”.

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Extreme structure

Velvet

Restrictive designs

short hemlines

Cutaway lines in leather garments

“Imagine Carine Roitfeld seen through the lens of Helmut Newton and you’re somewhere close to Hannah Marshall‘s version of contemporary dressing.” -Sarah Mower.

A rising star of the fashion firmament, Hannah Marshall has produced six collections under her eponymous label. All have signaled the beginning of what is to become the reinvention of the Little Black Dress, with Erin O’Connor loaning the infamous Trapeze Dress to the prestigious Little Black Dress exhibition at Zandra Rhodes’ Fashion & Textile Museum in London. 

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Graphic Print textiles

Bold shoulders

Deep, rich colours

Bare legs

Strong shapes for necklines

Jean-Pierre Braganza debuted in 2004 and since then has taken the fashion world by storm with his edgy trend-setting clothing. 

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Loose and comfortable

Graphic print textiles

Legwarmers

Jena Theo is designed by Jenny Holmes (from the UK) and Dimitris Theocharidis (from Greece). Both Jenny and Dimitris studied at London College of Fashion. Before setting up their label, Jenny was as a buyer and Dimitris worked in various freelance roles. You have most likely heard them name before now as they won Fashion Fringe at London’s last fashion week in 2009 in Covent Garden.

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Tribal look

Fur shoulder pads

Strappy heels

Long and short hemlines

Cutaway sleeves and bodices

Lace

Long leather gloves

I find most young women these days remember Sass & Bide from their appearance on MTV’s The Hills. What can I say? That’s just the way the world works now.  But what they are known for, amongst the fashion crew are their outstanding work for the catwalk which never ever fails to amaze us. Designers, Sarah-Jane Clarke (sass) and Heidi Middleton (bide) , are actually Australian and both studied in Australia. Their brand is beloved not only in Australia but also around the globe. London is blessed to have such an amazing talent showcase their work every season in this dynamic city. 

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Bold graphic prints

Strapoy boots

Bold Shoulders

Cutaway sleeves

Draped leather

London design duo Marcus Wilmont (32, Danish) and Maki Aminaka Löfvander (31,Swedish/Japanese). Marcus Wilmont studied fashion menswear at Central Saint Martins and Royal College of Art (MA) in London. He has won multiple of prizes and awards of which the most prestigious was “Collection of the year at International Talent Support Competition (ITS4) in Italy. Maki Aminaka Löfvander graduated from University College of Borås in Sweden studying fashion womenswear. She has worked for a number of renowned London designers and was Robert Cary-Williams studio manager for two years.  The duo met whilst working at Robert Carey William’s studio and their shared dreams and ambition became AMINAKA WILMONT in 2006.

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Short hemlines

Deep v-necks

Bubble skirts on dresses

Fringed leggings

Hourglass enhanced shapes

Born in Turkey, Bora Aksu moved to London 14 years ago. Bora completed his BA and MA at Central Saint Martins under the direction of Louise Wilson. He founded his own label straight after graduation thanks to a sponsorship award. He has won the NEWGEN sponsorship four times and you can certainly see why in his designs. They are absolutely groundbreaking! Mark Fast has spent time working with this designer, which you certainly see reflected in his recent work. Wouldn’t everyone wish to be so lucky as to learn at the hands of such a talented individual. 

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Smiling, happy models which we rarely see.

Short suits

Cinched waists with skinny and wide belts

Boots over leggings

Flapper style formal dresses

Caroline Charles is a London fashion legend. She has been designing in this city for 45 years now and has an endless list of achievements including:  been awarded an OBE for services to the British fashion industry during the company’s 40th year inbusiness, opened a store in Japan for which the British Embassy in Tokyo hosted Caroline Charles fashion show and Tony Blair visited the main store for a photo call, dressed Emma Thompson for the Oscars, where she won the award for Best Actress, dressed Diana, Princess of Wales, Jerry Hall and Liza Minelli. 

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

70’s style gowns

Deep v-necks

Graphic prints

Bold arms and shoulders

Established in 1994 and shown for the first time at London Fashion Week in 1995, the Maria Grachvogel label is a secret of many of the world’s most stylish women including Angelina Jolie, Marie Helvin and Yasmin Le Bon. Also exclusive to the brand is a unique way of digital printing, called ‘Artwork Print’. Each design is hand painted by Maria to work in harmony with the garment and the silhouette it creates on the body. The flagship store on Sloane Street, which opened in 2001, has seen each collection evolve with ever more ingenuity, reinforcing her unique brand of modern couture.

Trends seen in this season’s show included:

Metallics

Chanel like tweeds

Long leather gloves

Skintight high rise trousers

Sequined flared shorts (which we loved)

Dublin born Paul Costelloe is one of the most established names in British Fashion. With a strong sense of style and the desire to create wearable designs with a fresh feel, it is easy to see why Paul Costelloe has been the head of such a successful label for over 25 years. Paul Costelloe continues to build his womenswear business in the U.K. and Ireland with plans to open a further five stand-alone stores in the UK, along with a flagship store on the Kings Road. This year Paul hopes to further expand the ‘Collection’ part of the womeswear range, offering more limited edition elements to the current range, elements which are inspired by, or in some case are straight from the catwalk. 

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