London Fashion Week

With the Royal Wedding upon us, all eyes were on one of Kate Middleton's favourite designers at London Fashion Week. It is the event where the fashionistas among us get a clue as to the trends for Autumn and Winter.

By Amanda Waters, South Coast Studios

Issa Curiosity was sparked in many women throughout the country after Kate Middleton wore one of Daniella ‘Issa’ Helayel’s dresses when Prince William announced their engagement. Issa’s collection was an enormous hit at London Fashion Week.  With Yasmin Le Bon modelling, and Simon Le Bon in the front row, alongside milliner Stephen Jones (who provided the hats) it was sure to attract attention. Issa’s happy disposition seemed to fill the room, as the models appeared in one easy-to-wear and flattering garment after another, with dramatic prints on shirts, teamed with skater-style skirts and brightly coloured opaques, or on long gowns and skirts, which would appeal to women of varying sizes. It was an exciting week at Somerset House, where international attendance from buyers, press and celebrities was at an all-time high, and for the first time, the British Fashion Council ‘brought the magic to the masses’ by playing highlights of the shows across London in the underground stations, and on a large LED screen outside Somerset House itself, so that nobody need miss out on the action. Michael van der Ham’s collection used brightly coloured velvets with his trademark criss-cross stitching, hems of variable lengths, and many garments only sporting one sleeve. His loose fitting trousers looked elegant and fabulous.PPQ’s colour palette was kept to black, grey and a dash of purple. Button-through dresses and jackets teamed with pencil skirts and mini dresses worn with over-the-knee boots or platform courts created an edgy, yet feminine silhouette, providing its bright young audience with a complete wardrobe staple of outfits to wear from work to cocktail hour next season.Elsewhere, David Koma’s collection was slightly different to his previous collections. He took inspiration from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s interest in round shapes. Most of his pieces presented the circle in some form, whether it be spots, circles cut into leather dresses, skirts and capes, or pompoms. The sillhouettes were fitted and feminine, and with faces in varying colours appearing on tops throughout the collection, he had ensured that his garments will appeal to women of varying ages. Menswear was also very interesting this year. Up-and-coming Menswear label Tween delivered a superb collection as the Grand Finale to London Fashion Week, on Menswear day. The lines were clean, shirts and jackets were reversible, and the knitwear was structured. It was entirely memorable, not least because each outfit looked like it could be worn either for a day at the office or a day’s hiking! This was ‘modern masculinity’ at its best. Finally it wouldn’t be London Fashion Week, without giving a nod to Caroline Charles. A woman who knows her customer so well she has seemingly designed an outfit to suit their every need (and every occasion). This time, along with her eye-catching animal print separates, elegant two piece suits, and brightly coloured jewel encrusted cocktail dresses, (all worn with hats of varying sorts) she also presented many pieces which looked fitting enough to be worn to a funeral. From chic shift dresses, skirts and trousers with fitted jackets or crisp white shirts, all worn with black bowler hats, to the most elaborate outfit consisting of a brightly coloured crystal-embellished jacket, and black floor-skimming skirt also adorned with ornate crystals at the front. Genius!

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