Britain’s economy may be stagnant, but this month’s London Fashion Week showed its fashion industry at least is thriving.
Coming shortly after retail figures showed a 0.9 percent sales rise in January, the event showcased a host of British talent, from stalwarts like Alexander McQueen (the late designer's label), Burberry and Vivienne Westwood, to relative newcomers like Louise Gray. Other established names gave debut London performances, with Italian label Moschino making its first foray across the Channel.
Quintessentially British styles were out in force, with a Carnaby Street-inspired show by Moschino, and frequent dashes of tweed, wool and felt fabrics across the catwalk. But designers also looked east, spawning many a Russian-style fur hat, headscarf and peasant skirt.
Click ahead for some highlights from London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012.
By Katy Barnato
Posted Feb 24th 2012
Moschino’s playfully named sister line delivered a cheeky homage to 1960s London in its debut appearance outside of Milan Fashion Week. Called ‘Make up your life’, the collection showcased a range of sugary, make-up inspired hues, resulting in an ultra-feminine collection
Vivienne Westwood marked her return to the London catwalk in controversial style, announcing “People have never looked as ugly as they do today.”
The septuagenarian designer continued: "Don't just eat McDonald's, get something a bit better. Eat a salad. That's what fashion is. It's something that is a bit better."
Fyodor Golan’s sparkly green mutants caused a stir at the label’s first on-schedule show at London Fashion Week. Taking their inspiration from “Russian peasants, tsars and insects”, the Israeli/Latvian design duo also found room for tribal nose piercings and necklaces.
Issa also looked East in a show featuring peasant headscarves and paisley prints on its signature wraparound dresses. Fashionistas debated which of this season’s outfits would find favor with the Duchess of Cornwall, Kate Middleton, who is often sighted wearing the Brazilian label.
The celebrity turnout was almost as impressive as the simulated thunderstorm at the Burberry Prorsum show. The front row line up (shown here) featured Birdsong stars Clemence Poesy and Eddie Redmayne, model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, veteran fashion photographer Mario Testino, and actress Kate Bosworth with her boyfriend, director Michael Polish.
PPQ’s audience was a touch surprised when the show opened with a fleet of bicycles, pushed by models. The vibe was more 1950s pin-up than sporting however, befitting a design duo who describe their ideal customer as “Sophia Loren in a rush, with Peter Sellers in tow”.
A star-filled dinner was held behind closed doors after Mulberry’s ‘Where the wild things are’-themed show. Guest of honor was US singing sensation Lana Del Rey, shown here touting the Mulberry bag she inspired, the Del Rey.
Sarah Burton staged her first catwalk show for the Alexander McQueen secondary line, McQ, in trademark dramatic style.
Models in tulle ball gowns sloped across the leaf-strewn catwalk, before a sudden change of backdrop revealed a Hansel and Gretel scene with a dark forest and woodcutter hut.
Towering Mohawks topped neon prints and clashing colors in an exuberant show by Louise Gray. The Scottish designer described her style inspirations as “Freedom, technology, mirages and sunny days”.
American Vogue editor Anna Wintour seemed pleased to be seated next to fellow industry veteran Sir Philip Green, at the Topshop Unique show. Other fashion royalty at the show included models Alexa Chung, Poppy Delevingne and Pixie Geldof.
Models’ faces were encased in elaborately jeweled headpieces in Inbar Spector’s off-schedule show. The Israeli designer described her collection as a combination of “fairytale, manga, dreams and circus clowns”, according to a fashion magazine report.
A model shows off her temporary tattoos before Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label show. Cryptic symbols featured on all the models, along with Bloomsbury-inspired wool jackets, tweed suits and burgundy tights.