London Fashion Week: autumn/winter 2012/13 collections Day 2

This morning there seemed to be much more of a buzz surrounding the BFC show space at Somerset House. DAKS started off showing their autumn/winter 2012/13 collection with a tartan mix of light and dark browns alongside some stark black creations. The coat however where the show stopper pieces here with swing, pea and cropped versions all fitted, or hung, beautifully from models limbs. This swiftly then moved onto designer Clements Ribiero whom showed a selection of gorgeous cashmere sweaters and delightful stained glass prints on dresses, tops and trousers.

Jasper Conran autumn/winter 2012/13 collection
Jasper Conran autumn/winter 2012/13 collection

Designer Jasper Conran then ensued with a more than worthy front row which consisted of Dame Kelly Holmes, Kara Tointon, Beverley Knight, Richard E Grant and Jasmine Guinness. An autumnal palette of mocha, golds, browns and blacks and created a fabulous array of day and evening wear, especially with sequined dresses, feathered jumpers and fringed gowns; models all adorned a short low back bun in their hair with minimal make-up. Accessories wise there was a continuous use of pointed ankle shoes which were either plain leather or adorned bespoke jewels all over.

Next was a showing by Aquascutum which hosted One Direction star Harry Styles and comedian James Corden. The collection was heavily reliant on dark khaki greens, monochrome, light grey, navy and tweed collaborations. Models adorned elbow length gloves and biker chic jackets alongside leather skirts, tailored jackets and pristine white shirts. The look was quite militant but also high fashion, working day wear in an androgynous style.

At House of Holland the usual young celeb fash pack including Pixie Lott, Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldoff, Poppy Delevingne and Nick Grimshaw amongst others all took their front row seats as Henry Holland provided a nostalgic 1970s collection, complete with knitted jumpers and rainbow houndstooth pieces. This season Holland seems to be concentrating on styling women whom he is inspired by and grown up with therefore the designs slightly changed but the fun, of course, stayed.  His palette led by blue and navy skater dresses, flared leggings and all-in-ones complemented his evening dresses perfectly.

Unfortunately next up was veteran designer John Rocha whose usually wearable and colourful collections were completely thrown out by a new dark gothic inspired range. This crazy concoction of light green scrumpled dresses which quickly turned into dark chocolate browns and blacks were uninteresting and un-wearable to say the least. The saving grace however was his evening wear collection which combined wool, lace and sheer fabrics which were all infused together on dresses via panels.

Collections continue later today with shows from Temperley London, Issa, Ashley Isham and a presentation from Stella McCartney. More content to follow…

London Fashion Week: autumn/winter 2012/13 collections Day 1

Today we saw the launch of the autumn/winter 2012/13 collections at London Fashion Week. Set in the picturesque Somerset House amid the scrum and drama (and that was all before 10am), press, buyers and private clients all quipped excitedly as sartorialist photographers snapped away their choice of ‘best dressed’ before the shows got into full swing.

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Starting the week off denim brand Cheap Monday also opened its very first stand alone store on Carnaby Street. Quirky coloured jeans and casual jersey clothing were on the menu with celebrity fans such as Lana Del Rey amongst others. Greek-born designer Mary Katrantzou also launched her diffusion line with Topshop which practically sold out online in minutes (www.topshop.com).

However, first up to show at the BFC space was design duo Antoni & Alison whom, after being away on the catwalk scene since 2005, managed to come back with a bang showcasing a fabulous display of quirky dresses in silk, pastels and prints.

Corrie Nielsen then dug back to her Scottish roots with a tartan inspired collection which took draping and tailoring to the next level. An ex-employee for Vivienne Westwood you could see the resemblance in the way the clothes were constructed, however, Nielsen made this her own when she entered an enchanting Victorian style ruffled floor length gown as her finale piece, which completely encompassed the model.

Bora Aksu went on to create a knit fest with his collections adding in silks and chiffon accessorising with big bows which were tied at the neck in pastel and grey hues alongside fabulous brocade detailing.

Irish designer Zoe Jordan followed swiftly with autumnal tones in chocolates, burnt orange and hemp greens whilst Holly Valance and Edith Bowman sat front row. A dash of red was injected into the mix whilst her wide-brimmed hats in an assortment of colours and snood style jackets completed the day wear look. For evening wear lace and tie dye maxi dresses with leather paneling were a hit, and models were styled with long flowing plaited ponytails.

At Jean Pierre Braganza models were dressed in mullet hem skirts and sequin batwing jumpers which later led to a burst of kaleidoscope colourings in violet and white and fiery reds alongside harem pants and large fur collars which made this collection seem like there was a 1980s woman on a mission. Make-up was bright leading with red lips, blush cheeks and high buns swept prominently to the front of their heads.

Aside from their monster celebrity turn out on the front row which included singer Pixie Lott, blow up persona Pandemonia, Jo Wood and presenters Jameela Jamil and Lisa Snowdon as well as the Lord Mayor of Westminster Susie Burbridge, PPQ once again managed to steal the limelight from todays showings. Opting to open the show with a model strolling down the catwalk with a bicycle they also brought a young, fun, fresh and funky take for the first time today. Models adorned rhinestone and diamonte tights alongside tweed tailored dress-jackets and tartan mohair scarfs which were either draped over the shoulder to create a highland effect and then tied in at the waist, or left to hang loose down the side of the floor length winter coats.

Jewels were also apparent as a big theme and were added to collars, décollage and boots to jazz up the collection. The 1940s silhouette was also prominent with cinched waists and fuller skirts but the epitome of the collection I feel was the evening wear which took on a whole new grown up level for the brand. Column dresses, mixtures of chiffon and silk materials as well as experimental transitional colours in white and grey.

Shows are continuing this evening with Basso and Brooke and Central Saint Martins MA Fashion.

Check out my full reviews for the show at www.whatbesttowear.com 

label.m collaborates with Vodafone at London Fashion Weekend

For industry insiders whom are lucky enough to attend London Fashion Week we all know that the TONI&GUY blow dry bar is our safe haven to detangle any stressful situation or prepare us for a hard day ahead when working on 0 hours sleep due to writing, uploading and editing posts, videos and catwalk images.

However, now the clever people at label.m (who are also heavily on-hand during LFW) have twigged on and are planning to bring you the best hair care experience during London Fashion Weekend (23-26 February 2012). Set in Somerset House and to help celebrate their 16th season as a backstage session favourite, award winning haircare brand label.m is not only being exclusively stocked at the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend on-site TONI&GUY salon but is also bringing you a brand new Makeover Bar which offers advice, tips, dry styling and hair revamps from TONI&GUY’s professional styling team. Alongside this there will also be a retail area which will be dedicated to helping clients’ achieve iconic fashion looks as well as receiving a personal product recommendation.

There are three main iconic styles to choose from which include the Sweep, the Fishtail Plait and the Top Knot. Alongside expert advice label.m will also be offering all guests an exclusive 30% discount and a free prescripted product for all customers. This is also the first time also that label.m will be showcasing their brand new luxururious Therapy Age-Defying collection which is specifically designed to help restore hair back to its most healthiest state.

For more information or to book tickets and see prices for the pop-up salon please visit londonfashionweekend.co.uk/ticket-information

Winter hats and warm accessories

This season it seems to be all about the hats. Faux fur, trapper, cossack, knitted alongside beret’s, beanies, fedora’s, Trilby’s and floppy hats; these head-warming pieces are a must-have for any daring fashionista.

Topshop Trapper Hat £18; www.topshop.com

Topshop Trapper Hat £18; http://www.topshop.com

So today, when braving the elements at Somerset House ice-rink I decided to make an impromptu stop off at Dorothy Perkins en-route. I had been spying up a brown/grey fox faux fur cossack hat (£16) but was unsure of its size against my child-like pea head. However, working in fashion nothing fazes a stylist – especially a crazy trend – so I brought it. To my delight it fitted snugly and although I received some alarming stares on the tube, I may dare say that this could be the hat of the (Christmas) season.

So, to help you on your way when picking out the perfect head-attire then why not firstly decide whether it’s for formal or everyday use? A jewel-toned fedora, as sported on the runway at Gucci for autumn/winter 2011/2012, is perfect for office day wear and parties, with stores such as Accessorize.com selling a fantastic array.

However, for casual Sunday walks and daily styling why not opt for the faux fur trapper; these cute head pieces complete with pom poms and ties are perfect for the young at heart and have been seen in most stores with animal references; Topshop, H&M and Asos.com all sell amazing versions for less than £20.

Lastly if you are more of a fashion introvert and like to keep your headgear to a minimum then try a basic knitted beanie, these will not only keep your head warm and cover your ears but can also be dressed up or down for any occasion…

London Fashion Week spring/summer 2012 trends

Spring/Summer 2012 certainly didn’t last very long in London this time round with just a five-day stint ending with a menswear spectacular at Somerset House  on Wednesday 21 September 2011.

Attracting a celebrity clad front row which included Kelly Brook, Pixie Geldoff, Jaimie Winstone, , Nicola Roberts, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, et al plus a barrage of US stars such as Olivia Palermo, Kanye West and Whitney Port alongside Anna Wintour, it was an amazement that the fashion pack actually made it to approx 18 shows per day, which were located all across London town.

Unlike New York’s sport lux appeal there was no real one trend that designers stuck to, or that run steadily throughout the corse of the ‘fashion week’, instead was a variety of trends that ranged from metallic hues at Mulberry, GILES, Gasper Garvida and Topshop alongside quirky, geometric, digital and floral prints at Holly Fulton, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou and PPQ to name a few; mainly concentrating on trousers and dresses.

Apart from embellishment (ASHISH) and a mixture of yellow shades (Nicole Farhi), cut out detailing was also key (Jaeger London).

For next season the autumn/winter 2011 fetish theme seems to have been replaced by mocha and pale coloured PVC, as seen at Marios Schwab, Antonio Berardi and Richard Nicoll.

Palettes of pastels such as sugar-coated almonds, candy floss pink, duck egg blue and a variety of pale hues were painted on pieces at Christopher Kane, Roksanda Ilincic and Issa – who also joined in with pastel ice-cream and leaf prints inspired by Danielle Helayel’s Brazilian roots and carnival theme.

Pretty prim staples also made a comeback alongside summer knits which were shown at Caroline Charles, Paul Smith, Pringle of Scotland and Burberry, whilst Acne and designers such as Peter Pilotto showed fuller skirts reminiscent of 1950s glamour.

Sport lux did make an appearance though showing at Jean-Pierre Braganza styling tailored jackets mixed with harem style pants, whilst racer back tops, mesh overlay and cut out inserts on dresses were all apparent at Aquascutum and Clements Ribiero.

Accessory wise just as long as you are sporting a straw boater hat, fedora or embellished bib necklace you definitely will be heading in the right direction.

To end fashion week presenter Fearne Cotton decided to show her 6th collection for online store Very.co.uk. Attending front row was BFF Holly Willoughby, Whitney Port, Tom and Dougie from McFly along with Myleene Klass and Sarah Cawood. Fearne’s collection was summary, quirky and fun showing off a silk violet full length maxi – which she adorned – embellished cocktail dress with black and silver sequins, plus a mixture of day wear pieces as which included pussy bow blouses, slightly flared trousers and single breasted pinafore dresses with oversized gold buttons amongst other pieces. All extremely wearable and affordable too…

London Fashion Week (opens): Caroline Charles spring/summer 2012

London Fashion Week was officially opened this morning by London’s mayor Boris Johnson, with the British Fashion Council once again setting up home – and hosting – at Somerset House.

Apart from Paul Costello (whom let his six sons model on the catwalk) and Corrie Nielsen, whom showed her collection under an installation of amazing glass lighting, only Caroline Charles has shown so far, producing a wonderful Riviera inspired collection which included an array of boating hats, panama’s and sleek summer dresses.

Charles opened her show with a selection of navy, coral and orange wool trouser suits that were nipped in at the waist and added a certain Chanel-esque appeal, reminiscent of what mademoiselle Coco Chanel herself might adorn, especially when the skirt suits came out and were paired with short lace gloves and straw hats.

Next Charles focused on smart day wear that would be extremely appealable for work wear, alongside a selection of pearl beaded shirts, silk jumpsuits with spot patterns also mixing in flared palazzo pants and collar-less jackets. After this came evening wear which was a mixture of sequined print snake print dresses, with dropped hems along with beaded or sequined tunics and trouser combinations. Finally the designer ended her show with a combination of beaded jackets that dazzled in the catwalk lights in a more monochrome and navy palette. A certain hit for the French Riviera next summer….

Toni&Guy Blow-Out Bar at London Fashion Weekend

As London Fashion Week comes to a final close today (menswear shows are on all day), I think about all the things that got me, and a lot of colleagues through it. A spare pair of flats (which I stupidly forgot on the second day), coffee, coffee and more coffee, a pen, our tickets and press passes and of course a good hair do. Let no one ever say that the fashion elite in London have bad hair days at LFW!

And to keep us all on our toes were the fabulous Blow-Out bar team at Toni&Guy. Fronted by pr’s Lucie Steffens and Kayleigh Attwood, this was the on-site salon in the BFC tent at Somerset House to stop all our hair woes, and find a quiet spot to get away from it all and enjoy a quick style-fix in between shows.

From simple cuts to classic Winehouse beehives (yes they can really do anything in there), the ‘hair’ world was our oyster, with the salon running from Friday 18 – Tuesday 22 March, 2011. Today it has been kindly turned into a grooming salon by Jim Shaw for menswear day so all male press can attend and receive facials, manicures and more: but, from tomorrow it will be tailored into a pop-up salon for all paying guests who adorn the London Fashion Weekend exhibition until February 27, 2011.

As Toni&Guy are official sponsors of LFW, and this is their 14th hugely successful season fronting such shows as Bora Aksu, Betty Jackson, GILES and Todd Lynn; it is almost hard to believe that this season alone their creative teams, mostly fronted by Efi Davies, have designed hair for over 37 main catwalk shows and another 28 shows for Vauxhall Fashion Scout designers – whom they also sponsor and are in their 9th season of doing so.

Tickets for London Fashion Weekend start from as little as £13 and can be brought online via this link at www.londonfashionweekend.co.uk

For more information on Toni&Guy’s Blow-Out bar at London Fashion Weekend click here