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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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 

Vivienne Westwood ‘definitely not’ designing dress for Kate Middleton

Amid rumours of who will be dressing Kate Middleton for her forth-coming nuptials to Prince Williamson on April 29th, 2011, an array of designers from the Emanuel’s to Bruce Oldfiend, even Issa (who designed Kate’s engagement dress) have emerged, but we can now most definitely dismiss Dame Vivivienne Westwood.

At her autumn/winter 2011 catwalk show yesterday evening, Dame Viv reportedly told Hello! magazine that Kate is “definitely not going to get it from me, or I would have heard.” When asked if her designs were too fashion-forward for Kate the quirky designer continued: “I would have loved to have dressed Kate Middleton but I have to wait until she kind of catches up a bit somewhere with style.”

However for Westwood’s show she paid homage – sort of – to “the idea of the Royal Family, but somehow, all seen in this very Alice in Wonderland way”. Crowns were used to top off a variety of outfits, whilst oversized checks and large coats depicted Lewis Carroll’s characters perfectly. Squiggled tops, crazy prints and models with rollers still in their hair, and headscarf attached, co-insided with masterful tailoring, and showed that this was the epitome of Vivienne Westwood’s style.

Celebrity models for the night also included Pixie Geldof and Daisy Lowe, whose new beau – Dr.Who star – Matt Smith was watching gleefully in the audience.

SOURCE: Hellomagazine.com

Markus Lupfer autumn/winter 2011 collection

During London Fashion Week it’s always nice to take five minutes out of the craziness and reflect on something new. So I was delighted when I was invited to Markus Lupfer’s autumn/winter 2011 presentation, which was held through a kaleidoscopic afternoon tea party, yesterday in the Billiard room at the Sanderson Hotel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Instead of viewing models on plinths, or plastic ones dressed as window dummies, Lupfer opted to style live models as they sat poised on a stage for all to see.

His cute collection of signature sequined jumpers (which spelled out ‘YOU LOOK REALLY GOOD TODAY’), red wool coat, and printed silk dresses were as cute as the scones and jam, cakes, champagne and Alice in Wonderland style miniature bottles (which were all tagged ‘Drink me’) that adorned the tables.

I can’t wait to see the collection in store and online…

Kate Middleton’s designer shows at London Fashion Week

As Kate Middleton’s chosen designer for ‘that’ engagement dress, Brazilian designer Daniella Helayel had all eyes upon her to see how her current autumn/winter 2011 collection would pan out.

She should not have been worried though, as Helayel went back to her archives to view what patterns and prints she had used over the last decade, and to help celebrate her 10th anniversary of showing Issa. The result was a ‘British-Brazilion’ mould were models came out in a funky explosion of prints and 70s inspired pieces. These ‘recyled’ patterns consisted of feathers, shells and animal patterns, with a spectrum of colours ranging from jeweled tones such as amber, cobalt, scarlet and emerald-green to monochrome shades.

Helayel also produced grecian style goddess gowns which are her usual signature pieces, and looked fab.

Middleton however was not front row. Instead the line up included model Yasmin Le Bon, who took to the runway to model the designs instead.

London Fashion Week: Jaeger autumn/winter 2011 collection

Albeit a quiet start to the second day at London Fashion Week, a few celebs turned out to watch Jaeger’s latest autumn/winter 2011 collection at Somerset House early this afternoon, which included T4 presenter Jameela Jamil in the audience, in a cute peach strapless dress.

T4 Presenter Jameela Jamil attends LFW

T4 Presenter Jameela Jamil attends LFW

The collection was a nice change from jade and pink – which has been seen at quite a few shows – and brought fresh innovations, such as the mohair lapels on tux jackets, and aforementioned sleeveless gilets-type waistcoats.

The colour palette was mustards, khaki, black and tweed, with models wearing sleek pony tails and minimal make-up. A country-esque nod came from the Harris style tweed jackets and trousers, but the most promising piece was a long black wool maxi coat which flowed softly behind the model as she walked.

There was also an array of accessories which consisted of fur-lined beanies and elbow-length gloves, and towards the end came flashes of burnt orange skirts and jackets, along with a slashed fuschia shirt. Who says winter has to be dull?

The Brit Awards 2011: best dressed

It was a star-studded evening at London’s O2 Arena last night, and so many amazing looks to report on.

Rihanna in Dior Couture at the Brit Awards 2011

Rihanna in Dior Couture at the Brit Awards 2011

Rihanna stole the show, posing on the red carpet in Christian Dior Haute Couture, a purple and white printed bodice  and lime green belt gave way to a voluminous turquoise skirt.  Her bright red hair provided yet another colour clash and she resembled a flower blooming, at least we know that spring is on the way!

Later she wore a dramatic red Giles dress with ruffles at the shoulders and a long train, before changing into a white flower print Oscar de La Renta gown and finally, a revealing black bodysuit for her stage performance.  All in a day’s work for Britain’s favourite International Female Solo Artist.

Jessie J seemed to be the lady of the evening, taking away the Critics Choice Award, with her latest single Price Tag at number one in the Singles Chart, it seems Jessie J is tipped for the top.  Wearing a short Vivienne Westwood dress in emerald green, along with patterned tights and sky-high, fringed Christian Louboutins, she looked every inch the pop star.

Cheryl Cole deserves a mention for her glamorous red carpet look, se wasn’t pushing any fashion boundaries, but top marks to her for keeping up her flawless appearance wherever she goes.  Wearing a floor length black sequin gown by Stella McCartney with nude heels, maybe she’s testing out her style credentials ready for a trip to the US?

Eccentric singer Paloma Faith looked like a Hollywood starlet in floor length silver and black Vivienne Westwood gown, of course accessorised with a quirky, oversized bow in her hair.   Which brings me onto another female solo artist, Eliza Doolittle, who was wearing a white mini dress by Mark Fast with colourful fringing at the back.  Her legs seemed to go on forever, so it’s no wonder she’s recently been signed to Select Models.

View all the action from the Brit Awards here

By Vanessa Woodgate

Baftas 2011: best and worst dressed

The Orange Bafta Film Awards took place last night and were as stylish as ever.  As predicted, The Kings Speech swept the floor, with a total of seven awards, other winners included Natalie Portman for her haunting performance in Black Swan and The Social Network for Best Director and Adapted Screenplay.

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland also won two awards, for Best Hair and Make-up and Best Costumes for Colleen Atwood’s beautiful creations in the film.  True Grit, Toy Story 3, Four Lions and The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo were also recognised with an award.

Hailee Steinfeld in Miu Miu

Hailee Steinfeld in Miu Miu

But now, on to the more pressing matter of the best and worst dressed…

Top 5 Best Dressed

1. Emma Stone in Lanvin

Relatively new to the red carpet, Emma chose a beautiful, floor-length red dress from Lanvin’s S/S 11 collection.  The simplicity of the asymmetric neckline and her neutral accessories make a real impact and goes to show that sometimes, less really is more.

2. Hailee Steinfeld in Miu Miu

I cannot believe that Hailee Steinfeld is only 14 years old, she looked fashion-forward in a black jewelled Miu Miu dress with Jimmy Choos and purple clutch bag.  Hailee was working the midi-skirt trend and although some may think she looks frumpy and older than her years, this girl knows exactly what’s hot right now (or should I say, her stylist does!)

3. Emma Watson in Valentino

It seems that Emma Watson can do no wrong in the fashion stakes (apart from the odd dress malfunction here and there). Emma rocked her elfin-crop in a feminine cream Valentino gown, with asymmetric neckline and delicate ruffles, she showed off her enviable figure.

Jessica Alba in Versace

Jessica Alba in Versace

4. Jessica Alba in Versace

Glowing in a vivid blue Versace gown, Jessica looked positively radiant.  She wore her hair up in a cute plait and kept accessories simple with a cream clutch and beaded necklace and ring.

5. Helena Bonham Carter

Helena makes the top five list because her previous track record has been less than stylish.  I love Helena for her kooky dress sense, but after her awful outfit at the Golden Globes, this look was light-years better.  She wore a chic black Vivienne Westwood gown, with Lulu Guinness clutch and Solange Azagury-Partridge jewellery.  And, I’m relieved to say she left the strange Lennon-style sunglasses at home this time.

Other mentions should go to newcomer Felicity Jones for her chic vintage Chanel dress and to Julianne Moore for accessorising her look with a dashing Tom Ford.

Top 5 Worst Dressed

1. Talulah Riley

Talulah looked shockingly thin and malnourished, her navy and cream satin dress fell awkwardly and frankly, looked cheap.

2. Jennifer Lawrence in Stella McCartney

This is an example of good dress, bad fit.  On the right person, this navy Stella McCartney dress could be stunning, but it looks dangerously close to slipping down and the necklace looks dated.

3. Tracey Emin in Vivienne Westwood

Maybe if she didn’t look like she’d been dragged through a hedge backwards, Tracey Emin could have pulled off this voluminous gold Westwood gown.

4. Sarah Harding in Georges Chakra

In this bright red gown, Sarah blended right into the red carpet, emphasising the huge split in her dress which revealed most of her thigh.  The colour, split and strange detailing combined with her brassy blonde hair just didn’t work for me and let this be a lesson that some things are better left to the imagination.

5. JK Rowling in Lanvin

It’s hard for me to speak badly of anyone wearing Lanvin, but everyone knows that animal prints are hard to pull off when you get to a certain age.

To see all the Bafta red carpet looks, click here

By Vanessa Woodgate