Friday, December 18, 2009

Celebrities as models

The industry's obsession with celebrities continues to grow, with big name designers opting for stars to front their latest advertising campaigns rather than models. The actress-over-model preference isn't a new phenomenon; Anna Wintour was one of the first to harness the selling power of those dubbed 'celebrities,' by featuring actresses on the cover of Vogue after taking over the magazine in the mid-80s. The original idea behind this shift was to allow readers to identify with these faces in a way they couldn't do with mere models, something not unlike what is happening now in the new wave of editorials. Otherwise known as 'celebrity endorsements' a company will select a high-profile actor, singer or elite sportsperson to become the face of their brand, which works to generate publicity and in turn, sales. Unlike these endorsements, where the celebrity is acting as themselves and lending their names for publicity, these editorials feature celebrities AS models.

Last year Madonna featured in two campaigns for Louis Vuitton (hand-picked by designer and good friend Marc Jacobs), and this time she's back in front of the camera, but for Dolce & Gabbana.

Madonna for Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2009

Madonna for Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2009

She's back: Madonna eating spaghetti for the latest Dolce & Gabbana campaign

For the record, LV have chosen Dutch supermodel Lara Stone to replace Madge as the face of their Spring/Summer 2010 campaign. Good choice, I say.

Over at Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld's current muse, Lily Allen, features in the latest ad for the brand's newest line of handbags: the Chanel Coco Cocoon.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund

2009 winner of CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, Sophie Théallet, with Lanvin's Alber Elbaz

Anna Wintour and CFDA's Steven Kolb

Nicole Kidman in Lanvin with Alber Elbaz

Previous finalist Jason Wu, with Alexa Chung, wearing one of his designs

Supermodel Chanel Iman in Thakoon, with the designer, former finalist Thakoon Panichgul

Queen of Spades, I mean Vogue, Anna Wintour’s mentorship and assistance coupling with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, aptly named the CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund, held their annual Awards Dinner a few weeks ago, announcing this year’s winner. The aim of the fund, according to their website, is to “provide financial awards and business mentoring to emerging fashion designers.” It’s not the only fashion initiative supported by Wintour, who also hosted the inaugural Fashion’s Night Out in New York in September. This was the sixth time round for the Fund however, with Wintour acknowledging the importance of the City of New York to fashion: “New York is the place to come for young designers to show what they’re capable of.”

Our very own Nicole Kidman introduced the keynote speaker, “the visionary, incomparable Alber Elbaz” wearing Lanvin, of course. Up-and-coming French designer (who will be more up than coming after this nod) Sophie Théallet was this year’s winner, and was awarded US$200,000 to assist her in establishing her designs in New York. Théallet favours dresses; her aesthetic is simple, and with an amazing eye for detail, the French native designs clothes women want to wear (no wonder she is a Lanvin fan). “I try to make beautiful and functional clothes that a woman can work and travel in.” Previous winners of the fund have all gone on to become huge success stories: Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez with their label Proenza Schouler, Doo-Ri Chung and her doo.ri and my favourite, the (almost child) prodigy that is Alexander Wang.

Showing us why she is reigning monarch of fashion, Queen Anna proves why anything and anyone with her kiss of approval is going to make it, and make it big. In the aptly named documentary of the making of the September 2007 issue of Vogue (the biggest in the magazine’s history,) we saw a glimpse of designer Thakoon Panichgul, who was named a finalist in 2006. Thakoon’s status skyrocketed last year when Michelle Obama wore one of his trademark printed dresses as her husband accepted his presidential nomination. Fellow finalist, Jason Wu, is also a favourite (as is Théallet) of the First Lady- Wu was responsible for that white Inauguration gown. Other now well-known finalists include the Mulleavy sisters, responsible for the amazing Rodarte, Phillip Lim, red carpet favourites Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig (Marchesa), and David Neville and Marcus Wainwright with their label Rag & Bone. Watch this space for things to come from Théallet - if she’s anything like her predecessors, her name won’t be anonymous for much longer.

photos: & Vogue

Monday, November 30, 2009

Spring/Summer 2010 off-runway

Since the ready-to-wear collections were unveiled in New York, London, Milan and Paris in September, there has been the usual flurry of excitement by (mostly celebrity) stylists, buyers and all those well-connected to get their hands on pieces before they hit stores.

It’s always interesting to see how the looks are translated off-runway, especially by celebrities who have copious amounts of help with all their ‘people’- so there really is no excuse for getting it wrong! I’m still undecided as to whether Jennifer Lopez, shown at the American Music Awards in Gucci rocked it or wrecked it. Although Natasha Poly in the collection’s first look pulls off this season’s cut away body-con-plus-sculptural-platform-combo with ease (as if there’s any doubt), I’m not sure copying the look one-for-one was a wise move for Jenny. Perhaps different shoes (and definitely different- or no - earrings) could’ve worked in JLo’s favour. However, credit has to be given where credit is due; this woman’s body is amazing (twins anyone?!)

Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock chose Alberta Ferretti for the screening of The Blind Side in New Orleans earlier this month. The almost-casual look she’s got going on- with the loose waves and the flowing chiffon of the dress- is surely going to be called “too relaxed” by those dreaded “style police,” but props for Bullock for wearing it differently to Edita on-runway.

Taking one of the moore (haha- too, too easy) wearable pieces from the Viktor & Rolf collection was Julianne Moore, who chose look 17 from the collection for the New York screening of The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. How glad I am she didn’t pull a JLo and opt for matching shoes; while knee length rosettes are borderline avant garde on runway (and will look amazing in editorials), only someone like Tanya Dziahileva (i.e. a 6 foot tall model) could pull off both. I love how the sculpted sleeves and sharp lapels of the original juxtapose the softly draped chiffon, and wonder why Moore removed them.

And, finally, how could we forget Daphne Guinness in THAT Alexander McQueen, who co-hosted the release party of François Nars’ (yes, the man behind the make-up) new picture book. She plucked look 24 straight off the runway (paired with more sinister shoes, no less), looking right at home in the footwear that would make many a model cringe, shrugging “I’ve had years of practice.” If anyone can wear McQueen with conviction, she can.

And, just because, here’s some pictures of Viktor & Rolf’s (ready-to-wear?!) collection from Paris. Cannot wait to see the fun the photographers have with the background choices for all the hedge-trimmed tulle.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Underwear as outerwear continued...

It appears that the similarities between high fashion and the commercial world of Victoria's Secret doesn't end with the models. One of the most reoccurring, dare I say-trends- to show up in the Spring/Summer 2010 collections was that of underwear dressing. Homage was paid to the overt femininity UK's Harper's Bazaar cites Stella McCartney as being responsible for, through the subtle and not-so-subtle use of lace, sheers, ruffles and pretty detailing. More obvious forms of the trend were displayed in what seemed like two piece pantsuits- often without the namesake item. In an effort to move away from (but by no means escape!) the power-loving structure of seasons past, the resurgence of underwear as outerwear is obvious.

Lace and soft suiting make a winning pair at Stella McCartney

Spearheading the revival (regardless of who started it) during the fall couture season was John Galliano for Christian Dior, who carried it through to spring with his old world screen siren inspired collection of silky trenches, lace-paneled under-layers and cinched waists. Want a more literal interpretation of lingerie dressing? Look no further than the boys of Dolce & Gabbana. Their 40s-inspired, latina-esque prints, lace and corsetry screamed lingerie but at the same time oozed glamour and sex appeal. And when talking about literal interpretations of underwear, we can't (as much as we'd like to) ignore the disaster that was the 'artistic advising' of Lindsay Lohan at Emanuel Ungaro. Love heart nipple covers? Really??

Ladylike glamour at Christian Dior

Natasha Poly leading the lingerie-clad pack at the Dolce & Gabbana finale

To fully embrace underwear as outerwear, subtlety is key. Some of this season's looks, especially in Paris, looked downright unfinished- almost like the models ran out onto the runway in only half a pantsuit. I'm all for injecting a bit of femininity into daily dressing, but some of these looks were more 'diaper' than 'doable.' Although many of these pieces are sure to pop up in the next year's most creative editorials (just as the designers intended), rest assured there are wearable waters to navigate. Collections from Dior, Stella McCartney, Vanessa Bruno and Karl Lagerfeld at Fendi embracing all things pretty yet doing so without the shudders the word "pretty" is usually associated with. However the collections aren't just about wearability - where would we all be without a bit of theatrics? - as we saw at the finale of Dolce & Gabbana, and of course the hedge-trimmed tulle of Viktor & Rolf. Whether it's a ruffled shoulder a la Lanvin or a lace-trimmed Dior slip, one thing is certain, and for once the focus is not so sharp (literally.)


Kat Doll (or Katarzyna Dolinska as she was known in ANTM) for Vanessa Bruno

Friday, November 27, 2009

Australia’s Angels

Luckily Victoria’s Secret isn't something one quickly tires of, seeing as VS was the post-de-jour for both yesterday and today! 2009 was the second consecutive year we saw three Aussies walk in the show; the fourth since the first Australian walked for the lingerie label. That initial model, and ‘Angel,’ as she has been for the past three years now, is none other than Miranda Kerr. Kerr started working with the company in 2005, and made her runway debut in 2006. A year later, she was named an Angel, with the likes of Heidi Klum, Adrianna Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Her fourth runway appearance caps off a successful year- she remains the face of retail giant David Jones, released her own organic skincare line; Kora, and made her debut at Paris Fashion Week after being hand-picked by designer Nicolas Ghesquière to walk for Balenciaga. (The latter I’m hoping is a sign of things to come!)

Another Aussie who appeared on the runway, after making her debut last year, was Melbourne-born Abbey Lee Kershaw. Abbey Lee, as she is simply known in fashion circles, is by no means runway-shy. After winning the 2004 Girlfriend CoverGirl Model Search Competition (a year after fellow Australian success story Catherine McNeil took out the title), Kershaw has been a regular fixture on international runways, as well as landing exclusive editorials and advertising campaigns-she is the face of the Gucci fragrance “Flora.” has her ranked as equal 13th in their list of 2009’s top 50 models- tying with fellow VS pal Sessilee Lopez. Although this year was only her second working for Victoria’s Secret, 2009 has been a stellar year for the catwalk queen. She was named as Fashion TV’s ‘First Face’ for the Spring/Summer 2010 season; opened for Versace in Milan, closed for Fendi in Paris and appeared on nearly every runway in between.

Our third model export featured in this year’s show was Australian Vogue’s November 2009 cover girl Elyse Taylor. Riding high after her success as the face of Sydney’s Fashion Festival, she replaced fellow Aussie Sarah Stephens who walked for VS last year. Taylor has also worked for Just Jeans and Sportsgirl as well as Tommy Hilfiger Jeans before walking for designers such as Roberto Cavalli.

Photos: fashionologie

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The not-so-secret faces of Victoria.

A bit late on the posting for this I know, seeing as the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show has already been filmed in NYC, but it seems as though the VS to high fashion transition is reversing. Among the handful of existing high fashion faces including Isabeli Fontana, Maryna Linchuk and Australian Abbey Lee Kershaw is John Galliano favourite Chanel Iman. Chanel, and Britain's Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (former face of Burberry) make up two of the five official new Angles, who also include Emanuela de Paula, Lindsay Ellingson and Candice Swanepoel.

Chanel Iman backstage at the 2009 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

Iman's foray into the commercial world of Victoria's Secret is a stark contrast to a few years ago where names such as Raquel Zimmermann, Carmen Kass and Natasha Poly made their winged debut before graduating to high fashion.

Raquel Zimmermann for VS and as the face of Jean Paul Gaultier's Fall 2009 campaign

Natasha Poly for VS and walking for Chanel Ready-To-Wear Fall 2009

A quick (and probably unreliable) Wiki search shows that this newfound high fashion - VS switch isn't all that uncommon. Faces more likely to be recognised on the runways of Paris and Milan including Anja Rubik, Anna Jagodzinska and Eniko Mihalik have also made their debut for the lingerie giant this year.

High Fashion Newcomers: Anja Rubik, Anna Jagodzinska and Eniko Mihalik

Another new face is Californian native Kylie Bisutti, who won her place in the 2009 lineup via public vote in the statewide VS Model Search. Tune in for the December 1 screening to check the credibility of Wikipedia (either that or to witness the spectacle featuring the world's most genetically blessed strut their winged stuff)

Photos:, Zimbio, Fashion Gone Rogue

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wishes can come true.....

Premium fashion directory archfashion was recently established to profile Australian (and international) brands and designer labels. Some of the labels recently profiled on archfashion include (my personal favourite) Zimmermann, Ginger & Smart and labels of Adelaide-born darlings George Gross and Harry Who. It's a great place for anyone who wants to find out a bit about a certain brand or label- without the monotonous Google searching.

I was lucky enough to be a contributor for archfashion, and my profile on one of Australia's leading boutique-brands, Wish, now features on the website. Head to to check out my profile, oh, and also to peruse the latest collection from Wish!

photo: Wish

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Shrinking away from the limelight

I know I just posted on Miranda Kerr's looming transformation from runway-Angel extraordinaire to high fashion editorial darling, but it seems she's got another transformation on her hands. Last week she flew into Sydney to do a cover shoot and spread for Grazia, and the photos show a startlingly different Miranda to the commercial lingerie model we're all used to. British tabloid the DailyMail has ran an article commenting on her apparent weight loss, putting it down to her ambition to make it in the high-fashion world. The pictures below show her cutting an extremely thin figure, rib-bones and vertebrae galore. This is a fashion, not a weight, blog, but Miranda is a favourite of mine so I hope she springs back to her normal self soon!

The latest issue of Grazia featuring Miranda's exclusive interview hits shelves tomorrow, so make sure you grab a copy to see the Sydney rooftop shoot. I've had a little sneak peak on the Grazia website, and weight issues aside, Miranda is flying high at the top of her game (helium balloons don't hurt either!)

Paris wind-up: favourites of Spring 2010 prêt-à-porter

The end of Paris fashion week signals the end of the Spring 2010 season, and just in time for our very own Australian summer! The culmination of the shows heralds the end of runway party-season, with buyers for boutiques and departments stores the world over collating their lists of what exactly women will be wearing come summer. This season's in-store picks definitely won't disappoint- with the designers serving up an extremely wearable array of collections (amongst a few not so wearable... McQueen's amphibian woman instantly comes to mind here!) Below are some of my picks of the Paris collections that will have the biggest buyer appeal this season.


Phoebe Philo's latest showing for the French label will have women clamouring for the strong yet clean lines that have followed on from the fall shows. Minimalism was definitely the key trend, with the designer wanting to 'clean it up,' saying her aim was to make the collection 'strong and powerful.' Mission accomplished. The collection epitomised the contemporary woman; sharp tailoring paired with leather-everything; from the not-so-predictable jackets and capes to skirts, tops, dresses and shorts. Crisp whites and midnight blues perforated the neutral palette, which will ensure this collection packs a staying punch with the power-players.

Stella McCartney

Sticking to her 'what women want' aesthetic in a way that would've made Mel Gibson proud, saw Stella emerge from her boyfriend-blazer cocoon with the return of the waistlines. McCartney has always been one to focus on chic wearability as opposed to the showy artiness some designers can't get away from, and this aspect of her design is sure to please her clientele (and attract new ones) for many years to come. The blazers didn't disappear completely (thankfully!) but they were taken in a new- more shapely tailored- direction. Expertly placed ruffles were played down with pleats and belted waists, while also adorning bust and hemlines of print and flare-heavy skirts and dresses. As a cohesive collection, one can see how the woman McCartney designs for could easily move from day to night, office to weekend. Her chicly tailored separates enable wardrobe versatility; an aspect that couldn't have arrived during a more convenient summer.


With a mainly monochromal palette, Riccardo Tisci is another who's nailed the combination of geometric shapes and soft drapes. The program notes alluded to a roman theme; and while the toga-esque lines were a highlight, the Catholic inspired priest hats were not! The overall look was all clean-lined and refreshingly simple, and each piece had the sort of detail and craftsmanship you'd expect from one of the biggest names in Parisian couture. The handful of sheer, lightly draped dresses often complete with beaded shoulder accents were cleverly juxtaposed with the resounding strength in other silhouettes, creating a collection which will heavily - and successfully- target the edgy youth market.

Karl Lagerfeld also focused on accentuated waistlines paired with rising hemlines- a feature that also showed up in his collection for Chanel. This time around we saw a much more playful version of the label- in both the show and the clothes. Karl's current obsession, Lily Allen, kept the country theme rolling along, whilst the models waltzed (and in some cases, rolled) down the runway amongst bales of hay- whilst wearing clogs! Let's hope this part of Paris doesn't translate off-runway anytime soon. Lanvin's overt embellishment, whilst showing disregard for the recession, was a resounding favourite for the fashion-sweet tooths, while everything at Balmain will continue to be quick sellers, and feature on many a fashionable celebrity I'm sure. With the doom and gloom of winter behind us, this summer will shape up (quite literally) to be a buyer-blowout.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Not so angelic...

Miranda Kerr walking for Balenciaga

Naomi Campbell, making a comeback?

Russian success story: Natalia Vodianova

Aussie's favourite mainstream model, Miranda Kerr, has been spotted out and about in Paris this week, making her debut on the high fashion stage with a spot in the Balenciaga lineup. As noted in my earlier post, she was miles away from her cherubic self in Ghesquiere's latest showing for the famed Spanish house, rocking futuristic winged eyeliner- and not the sort you'd see on a Victoria's Secret runway. With no glitter or feathers in sight, Miranda was barely recognisable in a grey leather vest and textually pleated skirt. Wonder whether we'll see her lovely face on the runway again before the week's out?! It wouldn't be the first time an Angel has traded their halo for haute couture- my favourite, Natasha Poly- started her career walking for the lingerie label, before being snapped up by the editorial world.

Speaking of transitions, Naomi Campbell proved why she's a part of the original supermodel club, also taking to the Paris runways this week. Nearing 40 (!) Campbell is more than twice the age of half the girls out there, proving longevity isn't just a myth in the modelling industry. She walked for Russian designer Igor Chapurin, and also made an appearance at London's Fashion Week- closing the show for Issa. It seems the '90s are not over- with Russia's Cinderella success-story and Calvin Klein's long-time muse- Natalia Vodianova walking for Stella McCartney.

With the models-as-household-names phenomenon long gone, let's hope the modelling industry has finally turned over a new (green) leaf and starts using their recycling bins a bit more....

photos: and zimbio

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Paris begins... ohh la la!

We're finally into the last, but by no means least, stage of fashion weeks for the summer 2010 collections; Paris. While the prêt-à-porter shows aren't what couture-loving Parisians look forward to most on their yearly fashion calender, they sure know how to make clothes women actually want to wear, that's for sure.

A prime example of a designer who is known for his often avant garde couture is Dior headhunter John Galliano, and his ready to wear collection was just that. Amongst all the overtly '80s inspired collections of late, it was refreshing to see inspiration from a new era emerge. Forties film stars reigned supreme; with shiny red pouts and bouncing waves offsetting feminine yet structured trenches amongst a collection of underwear-as-outwear; a trend single handedly put on the fashion map by Galliano.

Christian Dior

Other highlights at Paris so far have been Balenciaga, the greatly-anticipated Balmain and designer-for-the-cool-kids Isabel Marant. Ghesquière's latest showing is an obvious departure from his drape-heavy fall collection, with not a soft layer in sight in this urban-cool collection for Balenciaga. This show was all about stepping out of the box- it even featured our very own Victoria's Secret angel Miranda Kerr, who was without her feathered safety wings in a street-inspired schoolgirl get up. Leather hoodies, skin tights pants and modern patchwork were combined in a genius way that will definitely prove hard for chain store labels to rip-off; a problem still continuing to plague the next designer.

Christophe Decarnin has really set the bar in terms of sexy deconstructionism; combining military jackets with sequins and barely-there hemlines in a way only Balmain could. While the follow-on from previous collections is obvious, space age has been replaced by a sparkling disco dancer emerging from the caves. The aesthetic is more closely related to Decarnin's own style than previous lines, with the leather jacket and skinny army pants combo he donned himself looking like a piece from the same collection. With the bold-shouldered trend resting upon his own, it's going to take an army (probably dressed in Balmain) to knock him off his well-deserved perch.


Newcomer to the high-fashion circuit Marant proved yet again why she's established herself amongst the cool crowd, with her relaxed boho style retaining that street edge from fall; her collection is extremely wearable. Not only is it wearable as a cohesive whole, one can see how those going for the model-off-duty look can add pieces into their existing wardrobes. With more colour than the greys of fall, one has to be leggy to pull off some of these pieces: loose minis with fringed boots, draped grey marle pants and skinny pinstripes. Still on the strong-shouldered bandwagon, it's obvious why the Marant fan club is recruiting members and a speedy rate.

Isabel Marant

Moroccan-born Israeli design genius Alber Elbaz took drapery and ruffles to a new, and unforgettable, level with his latest showing for French house Lanvin. No amount of journalistic genius can do this vision justice; the show was an array of gorgeously constructed garments where intricate design and textualisation were moulded together to create a visual delight for those who made the trek to a shed on the outskirts of Paris. This cult like following, revelling in the build up of beaded brilliance, is testament to the mind who lured them there. With the week just started, Paris is sure to be one we won't forget for a very long time, just as they intended, I'm sure.


Milan's turn at that thing known as Fashion Week

Fashion week has just wrapped in the fashion capital of Italy, Milan, proving once again why everything with an Italian label oozes glamour and sensuality. In Milan, the designs are a world away from the cool-factor of London, where the summer 2010 collections, and rightly so, are hot hot hot.

Frida Giannini followed on the sparkling success of her fall collection, this time taking Gucci on an athletic road less travelled, and staying there with conviction. The collection revolved around the figure-hugging silhouette of a layered bandage dress, with the designer herself emerging at the end of the show in a tightly wound little black number. Past shows like Wang in New York and Macdonald in London spring to mind upon the emergence of Natasha Poly poured into a startlingly bright white multi-strap dress. With the white starting block fading to grey around the bend, it was typical Gucci-girl print up the back straight and sharp, dark beading on sleek dresses bringing it home. A definite highlight of not only Milan, but the entire current season, with the streak of modernism Giannini finally deciding to play paying off in spades.


Fellow Italian glamourite Donatella Versace, poster girl for the fun and frivolity of '90s fashion, took the label back it its roots with shorter-than-short hemlines, wild prints and colour. And what a time to do so- with hemlines on the rise the world over, Donatella stepped up to the plate and showed them all how it's done. Psychedelic, geometric prints splashed in zesty neons over a figure-hugging silhouette formed the basis of this Alice in Wonderland themed collection. When she wasn't skirting the issue, Donatella threw in a sleek, tailored jacket or two, just for good measure. Ending with floor-length chiffon gowns in a rainbow hued array perfect for the up and coming awards season, Donatella proved why she's the go to girl for quintessential Italian glamour.


Other Milanese highlights, and also fans of colour's reemergence, were Emilio Pucci and Prada, the latter's take on colour reverberated through to the showstopping glossy pouts. Taking a break from the swirling print side of Pucci was Peter Dundas with his debut collection built upon the water-loving scuba trend. However, it wasn't just a line full of body dresses that one might assume makes up a summer 2010 show; Dundas cleverly incorporated many varying trends of the season within the limits of a single show. There were deconstructed tees done Decarnin-style, softly draped safari pants, strong shouldered jackets all mixed in with the vibrant, flowing dresses a Pucci girl would love. Miuccia Prada took a step back from the leather-punch, presenting a strong-lined collection revolving around a "business-to-beach" idea. And I mean this quite literally: sleek office wear was branded with a seaside pattern, pared back with monochromal, tech-looking separates.


Over at Dolce & Gabbana, the crowd was treated to a different kind of finale- an upheaval from past endings of voluminous ballgowns. After a latina-themed, overtly lacy show, the models took to the runway in a'40s inspired lingerie-clad-bunch, lead by all-round favourite Natasha Poly. With a sexy and glamorous, but always classy week done, we're now on the home straight of the ready-to-wear summer 2010 season, and let it be known Paris won't let us down!

Natasha Poly leading the pack at the Dolce & Gabbana finale
photos:, Zimbio, Coutorture

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The British are coming (actually, they've been and gone...)

Front row at Burberry

Alexa Chung and Agyness Deyn at Burberry's afterparty

Looks from the Burberry Spring 2010 collection

Julien Macdonald finale

I know it's a bit late to be posting on London Fashion Week seeing as though we're already up to Paris, but London's always so fashion-forward that even the lengthiest of delays can't make this week seem old. The week just gone celebrated 25 years of fashion week in London, and what a week it was! London's Br-It girls Alexa Chung, Peaches Geldof and Hermione Granger's alter-ego Emma Watson were out in force for the week, where the London-cool was translated both on and off catwalk.

Actor-turned-designer Sienna Miller showcased her second collection for label Twenty-8-Twelve with sister Savannah, while Aussie Duo Sass & Bide also showed for the tenth time in the 25 year history of the major event. I wasn't quite sure what to make of the pair's latest showing, with the collection emanating that British cool factor but seeming to rely too heavily upon inspiration from past collections. One particular look- a plain grey tank and denim cutoffs weren't particularly inspiring; but the beading detail of other garments added a much needed element to the show. The highlights of the duo's latest showing included their modern take on gathering which has become their trademark of late, and glimpses of cutouts; a trend that won't be disappearing anytime soon.

An interesting take on glamorous sportswear was seen at Julien Macdonald, where the British maestro paired gauzy fabrics with jersey to create a mermaid slash scuba-inspired collection. After taking the plunge the designer recreated that feeling in a collection: "I felt so good in the suit, I thought, why wouldn't a woman want to feel that way in her clothes?" If scuba was the theme then tight was the motto, with of-the-season body con dresses featuring cut outs and cobwebbing in a palette of building block colours. Sheer panelling helped to give an updated edge to some of the overtly repetitive trends of the season, making Macdonald's minimalist pairings a highlight of London.

Among the atypically quirky shows such as Vivienne Westwoods's Red Label and Christopher Kane, without which London wouldn't be the same, was headline act Burberry. There was definitely no question when it came to the premier show, with the quintessential British brand, headed by Christopher Bailey, ensuring London went out with a bang. An afterparty DJ'd by retired models Alexa Chung and fellow Briton Agyness Deyn (already?), helped along with Brighton outfit The Kooks and attended by fash-pack co-founder Vicky B didn't hurt Burberry's new-found cool factor. The label's latest poster child Emma Watson, previous muse of Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld had the prime seat in the house, upstaging fellow fashionistas Victoria, Gwyneth and Mary-Kate. On-runway also gave us something new to talk about, with the laid back country tailoring of seasons past banished by Burberry-gone-short: draped minis teamed with the updated (read: shortened) version of their iconic trench. With a palette of creamy pastel-ly goodness with a hint of metallic, Bailey was a man with a mission, proving why Burberry is back: and better than ever.
Photos: Zimbio