The world economy may be stagnating, but London Fashion Week, coming hot on the heels of New York’s show, provided further reason for investors to feel upbeat about high-end retail.
Speaking at Burberry’s show in Kensington Gardens, London, CEO Angela Ahrendts told CNBC: "(Fashion is) relatively sheltered from the global slowdown. Over 60 percent of the luxury business – not just Burberry – is down to tourism, so most of the big flagship markets are somewhat sheltered in Europe, and in America."
The variety of trends on display during the week suggested other fashion houses share her confidence. Styles exhibited ranged from girly florals and pastels, to androgynous boyfriend jackets and Morticia Adams-inspired gothic maxi dresses. Fur also put in an appearance, along with an eye-watering palette of lemon yellows, fuchsia pinks and cornflower blues.
Click ahead for scenes from London's Fashion Week.
By Katy Barnato
Posted 27 Sept 2011
Mulberry’s creative director Emma Hill took inspiration from the classic British seaside holiday, incorporating pastel shades, summer flowers and tousled hair. An old-fashioned ice cream van was parked outside the show’s Mayfair location, Claridge’s Hotel, where rooms were filled with stuffed toys, and guests were offered pink lemonade to a background of seagull cries.
Chief creative officer Christopher Bailey harked back to Burberry’s roots with a show that focused on the fashion house’s classic trench coat. Although many a finely plucked eyebrow was raised by so much outerwear in a Spring/Summer collection, fashionistas were impressed by the variety on display, which ranged from parkas to Peruvian-inspired cloth jackets.
A model is styled backstage before Issa London’s runway show. The Brazilian designer is a favorite of Kate Middleton, who wore a royal blue Issa wrap dress when publicly announcing her engagement to Prince William.
Designer Daniella Issa Helayel says her ideal customer is the Queen of England. “She is not just a style icon, but an icon in every sense of the word,” she said.
Christopher Kane’s much-anticipated show provoked sighs of rapture from fashion aficionados, some of whom professed themselves moved to tears by the oversized cricket jumpers, metallic shifts, and angular cut-out dresses on display.
The celebrity turnout was almost as impressive as the catwalk display at the Burberry Prorsum show.
Hollywood came in the form of Sienna Miller and Sarah Jessica Parker, while the sporting world was represented by tennis players Serena Williams and Andy Murray (plus his girlfriend Kim Sears). Other attendees included singer Kanye West, photographer Mario Testino, and model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
House of Holland opted for bingo- and croquet-inspired granny chic, combining vibrant crocheted designs with strings of pearls. The venue’s walls were lined with asymmetric Dalmatian spots.
Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos’ show in the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo train station impressed audiences with its intricate printed waistcoats, trousers and dresses.
Pippa Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister, landed a front row seat at Temperley London’s show, and sat with British model Laura Bailey, socialite Peaches Geldof, and Sin City actress Rosario Dawson.
Alistair Carr was charged with reinvigorating Pringle of Scotland when he joined the fashion house in March. His spring/summer collection featured twinsets in this season’s acidic pastels.
Not for the shy and retiring, Mary Katrantzou’s outfits came adorned with metal, tassels and sequins, while her models sported chalk-colored lipstick.
Bright colors and bold patterns appeared in models’ hairdos and makeup as well as their clothes, at the septuagenarian designer’s show. Dame Westwood, who was knighted in 2006 for her contribution to fashion, describes her signature style as “the adaptation of historical garment construction into modern clothing.”