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

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