More in Depth on London Fashion Week

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The highlights of the second half of London Fashion Week are now here, after much trawling through images and several video-stream induced browser crashes. Fingers crossed I’ll skip that part by being there in person next season – wedged between Anna Wintour and Alexa Chung on the front row, no less, naturellement.

Expect more London-orientated reporting in the next week or so, as I’m actually heading over in the morning. It may seem a little counter-intuitive to be visiting just days after Fashion Week has ENDED, but rest assured, it’s all part of a plan – expect some very exciting news from Too Gallant soon…!

In the meantime…. Fashion Week! I went with 15 looks rather than 10 this time, as there’s four days of collections here, over the last post’s two.

Vivienne Westwood Red:
Smeared make-up, oversized crowns, hotch-potch outfits (not to mention eyebrows) and general bizarreness: Queen Viv at her best then. To be honest, she can be hit or miss for me. But I always admire her brazenness – and this collection is definitely a ‘hit’.

Unique: Where PPQ gave us cat ears, Unique placed Minnie Mouse-esque buns, dotted noses and dog sweaters. A fun, vibrant and quirky collection that continues fashion’s love affair with the cute and kitsch.

Temperley London

Temperley added a dose of drama and sophistication to LFW with a flawlessly beautiful collection.

Antonio Berardi: Metallics and brocade were prominent in this collection, but the real masterstroke for me was the innovative structuring and shapes of the pieces.

Holly Fulton

Fulton reworks jazz age motifs in a variety of on-trend silhouettes for this collection: mini, maxi, full and fluffy skirts all appear. I love the jewellery, embellishments and headpieces – they really make the collection ‘pop’.

Matthew Williamson

With trademark bohemian elegance, Matthew Williamson’s collection waltzed through a paired back showroom to a soundtrack of Arcade Fire. That reddy-orange shade which seems to be everywhere this year cropped up again, along with quilting, patterning, fringing and metallics.

Nicole Fahri

Nicole Fahri’s collection was shiny and glittery – but not in a hen party or girlish way. Rather, the models, with their jutting cheekbones and slicked back hair, dressed predominantly in black, looked like a line of kick-ass female assassins. Sleek, strong and stylish.

David Koma

I admit it – I used to be a little skeptical of a designer so heavily touted by the Cheryl Coles of the world. I shouldn’t have been though: this collection was as artistic and interesting as it will no doubt be successful. About as far from the X-Factor world, which made Koma a household name, as you can get.


A brilliant celebration of teenage punkishness, with lots of plaid, hole-ridden jumpers and attitude. The tights with cobwebs on the knees are one of my favourite items this season, and though I usually dislike slogan tops, the ‘Teen Idle’ one is a winner for me.

Meadham Kirchhoff

Witchery took centre stage at Meadham Kirchhoff, with gothic two-tone hair, pointed hats and a restricted palette of black, white and red. Throw in some prairie innocence (knitted tights, flouncy skirts, demure necklines)  and a Grimm-like fairy tale quality is evoked. Utterly beautiful.

Paul Smith

Scraggy hair, oversized glasses, ill-fitting and mannish office wear. This is geek chic in its purest form, and I love it.

Mary Katrantzou

Having been a little underwhelmed by her latest Topshop line, I was glad to see Mary Katrantzou hasn’t compromised her cutting-edge designs for her own label. Intricate detailing, sumptuous textures and fabrics and astonishingly sculptural shapes take pride of place once more in this oriental-inspired collection.

Roksanda Ilincic

‘Feminine and romantic’ needn’t mean fragile, as Roksanda Ilincic shows. Toughened up with a black lip, the looks evoke heroines of eras gone by, but with a steely core that would make a knight-in-shining-armour cower. Very film noir-ish in spirit – which is never a bad thing in my book.

James Long

I often find menswear collections to be either very plain and repetitive or else wildly experimental and over-the-top. James Long has got the balance right, however. He experiments with textures, fabrics and surfaces, yet keeps it conventional enough not to be too intimidating to the average ‘bloke’. Likewise, he strikes a happy medium between preppy and punky to create a collection that’s smart, but also cool and rebellious.


Bright, brash, original and punkish, KTZ produced a refreshingly different collection. I like the way it mixes commonplace fashion motifs (like breton stripes) with the unexpected – Parisian chic meets the Rubberbandits, anyone? Somehow it works, though.

Something missing? Some well-known names I didn’t include in the highlights, and why.

Acne, Peter Pilotto, Christopher Kane – all labels I usually like but just didn’t quite nail it this season. Kane was out-done by Koma, who took a similar concept but worked it much better, in my opinion.

Erdem, Jasper Conran, Pringle of Scotland – all well designed, but a little conservative/safe for my likes. Erdem came close, though.

Mulberry and Burberry, likewise, met their usual high standards, but they just weren’t the most relevant or exciting for me. Again, very ‘safe’.

Julian Macdonald – I found Macdonald’s attempt at ‘vampiric goth’ very cliched and unconvincing. See Meadham Kirchhoff for pointers on how to do morbid/gothic without venturing too far into the ‘Twilight’ zone.

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