London Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2012 Highlights Featured

Fashion show reviews, celebrity sightings and party people

London Fashion Week was a mix of new designers, celebrities, parties and a general opinion as having one of the best schedules of all the fashion weeks this season.

With so much support from the British Fashion Council, London Fashion Week was the one to watch for upcoming talent. It was choc-a-bloc of new names who not only offer something unique but have managed to become established, successful designers in their own right. “The emphasis in London is so much on creativity and as a result you get really sterling collections”, said Vogue icon and editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Whilst Natalie Massenet, CEO of Net-a-Porter, said that designers had taken things to a new level this season with unique collections that are also extremely wearable.

London is one of the only fashion weeks that has reinvented itself with every season and actress Sienna Miller seems to agree, “I think New York’s amazing and Paris is amazing but I do think there is something about London fashion which is really original.”

LUXOS takes you through each day with our best picks for catwalk shows and the inside scoop on the hottest parties and celebrity sightings…

Day One
Canadian designer Jean-Pierre Braganza showed on the first day with a collection all about geometry and flattery. He describes the Jean-Pierre Braganza woman as ‘not afraid to embrace the dark side of life’ and this is clear from the powerful statement made by figure-hugging pieces, bold colours, patterns and cutouts and killer shoes! We loved the contrast effect of long fitted skirts paired with chunky-style heels, which somehow worked. And the fact that his pieces would look equally as powerful on women above a size zero. View full collection.

Being Australian, there may be some bias in my feelings about Sass & Bide but it doesn’t mean the Spring collection presented by the two Sydney girls doesn’t deserve to be in my top three of the day. More grown-up than past collections, it was elegant yet still youthful and fresh as always, and definitely aimed at the younger woman with bold statements in the incorporated patterns. Inspired by Japan, collegiate colour palettes and contrasting textures, we imagine heads turning for the girl that rocks these looks at a high-society event. View full collection.

A new name to my ears, Felder Felder is two German girls who are very much ‘Londonised’. The collection this season is sleek and at the same time a little wild, with an almost dominatrix influence throughout. It combined soft silhouettes with a rock ‘n’ roll edge, sending sherbet coloured pieces down the runway in sheer feminine fabrics. Eclectic pieces including floor length dresses both casual and more formal, pants and wide skirts, meant that there is a piece for everyone no matter their age or character. We particularly love the leather jewelry pieces that featured throughout the show. View full collection.

Later that night at the PPQ show, front and centre was singers Lily Allen, looking casual in jeans paired with a black blazer and Sophie Ellis Bextor in a sexy fitted dress.

Day Two
After a successful first day there was a general feel of excitement out and about in the streets. One of our favourites of the morning was Julien Macdonald, Welsh designer who was once Creative Director of Givenchy before focusing on his own label. Models with sleeked back hair and robo-like sunglasses strutted down the catwalk oozing confidence in this spring collection. Embellishment was a major factor with nearly nude dressed being made couture through the use of lace and beading. The metallic heels and belts, which synched at the waist, made for a powerful look while the trademark piece was the transparent embellished dress. View full collection.

Henry Holland’s designs for House of Holland are definitely for the young London girl. His collection was named Pastel Punks but we definitely found there was a school girl edge to it, and not the innocent kind. Pastel coloured denim pieces, sheer tops worn with suspenders and fish-net fabrics, all accented with snakeskin features and accessories gave the spring summer collection some serious edge. We see this brand doing particularly well in the commercial market for next season and judging by some of the street style we’ve saw during the week, I don’t think Londoners will be shy about rocking these pieces. View full collection.

Ms Vivienne Westwood always draws a big crowd for her shows and her Red Label collection was no different with Kimberly Stewart, Kelly Osbourne and Lily Allen all sitting front row. As with any Vivienne Westwood show, its not just about the clothes, models sported crazy up-do’s as well as plaits that wrapped all the way around the neck and of course, crazy makeup. Actually, the line itself was a little more tame than usual with a lot of exaggerated suit pieces featuring throughout and feminine, draped dresses whilst colours were a lot more subtle than her other collections. View full collection.

Brazilian brand Issa, Kate Middleton’s favourite (although there was no sign of her), was a glamourous tribute to Rio with very little effort. The brand is definitely commercial but the combination of bright colours, unique prints and sophisticated cuts made for a well-rounded collection. Our favourite was the green one-piece but the tribute to Brazil Carnevale in the last look was a nice touch. View full collection.

Day Three
Mulberry’s beach-style bash took place at Claridge’s Hotel where actress Kristen Stewart and famed model Kate Moss took a front row seat. The word of the day was playful with a collection inspired by the British seaside and suited to Britain’s spring summer climate. Looking very ‘cute-schoolgirl’, colours were a mix of sherbets, olive, gold and a carousel animal print whilst pieces were varied. The sheer floor-length tule skirts worn over minis were a hit for us as well as the hooded trenchcoats and wind-breakers. The socks with open-toe heels added to each look to make for the perfect balance between smart and casually chic. View full collection.

Holly Fulton of the self-named British brand has been named a designer to watch with a collection that was all class, a little bombshell bond and a lot of summer glam. We fell in love with the different patterns she used such as checkerboard, zebra and foulard prints but it was the cuts that really tugged on the heart strings especially the pants, playsuits, swimwear, tops, dresses…well all of them really. The brand also has great commercial value with a lot of the pieces catering to women of different shapes, can I get an Amen!? View full collection.

Day Four
Peter Pilotto’s collection was inspired by a trip to Indonesia and although the whole floral theme has been continued throughout the week, this was in a much less obvious way. The talent of these designers, who were named Best Emerging Talent Award at the British Fashion Awards in 2009, lies in the placement of complicated prints and flattering cuts. Each piece sent down the runway had it’s own statement to make and although some were very loud statements, we predict popularity amongst buyers for this collection. View full collection.

Burberry Prorsum was one of the biggest name brands showing at London’s Fashion Week and the presence of the usual British IT-crowd was proof attracting all the big names such as actresses Sienna Miller Gemma Arterton, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, celebrity stylist, Rachael Zoe, and perhaps the biggest name of all, artist and style icon, Kanye West. The quality of each piece and attention to detail was paramount. Textures and patterns were somewhat tribal although apparently unintentional, and very unique. Surprisingly the trench featured many times throughout (isn’t this the spring summer collection?), they were impressive nonetheless. Our favourites were the oversized geometric beading and accessories as well as the textures. View full collection.

Temperley London, an all-British brand, presented a collection, which tributed the glamorous icons of the silver screen with a heavy focus on elegant and womanly silhouettes. Colours were subtle yet sexy whilst the sheer fabrics modernized this collection.
View full collection.

Day Five
The designers behind the label describe the Aminaka Wilmont woman as serene, sensual and creative. Their collection reflected this vision perfectly with subtle floral prints and sheer fabrics worked into innovative yet soft silhouettes. We loved the contrast between the feminine pieces and chunky boots as well as the distressed leather jackets.
View full collection.

For us, the Roksanda Ilincic collection is a perfect balance between modest European style and edgy London style. For the modern woman, pieces where a cross between casual chic and sport but somehow ending in an overall sophisticated look. Our absolute favourite pieces of the collection were the slouchy pants, which literally floated down the catwalk, done in a variety of fabrics and matched with the blazers and signature rope belts.
View full collection.

Party People
The Eve - It’s all happening around Battersea this year with a Rimmel party held on the eve of London Fashion Week at Battersea Power Station. Arriving by helicopter was international model and face of the brand, Kate Moss. Other big name guests were entertained by British band, The Noisettes where leading lady Shingai Shoniwa herself, pushed the fashion limits looking as edgy as ever.

Day Two - From Italy to London’s Sloane St, design houses Fendi and Roberto Cavalli both celebrated new store openings during London Fashion Week. Right after big name guests such as Rachel Zoe checked out Fendi’s new location, Silvia Venturini Fendi hosted a dinner party at Mark’s Club, Mayfair where Lady Amanda Harlech and Camilla Al Fayed were present.

After, guests made their way to the Cavalli mega-party, held at Battersea Power Station. Entertainment included a Cirque performance and surprise set from singer Kelis, while big name guests included actress Rosario Dawson and golden oldie, Ronnie Wood.

Day Four - Park Lane Hotel London was host to the exclusive ‘30s themed party’ Moet & Chandon Etoile Award Ceremony which this year, honoured fashion photographer Mario Testino for his contribution to cultural society. The guest list included Kate Moss, Sienna Miller, Georgia May Jagger and Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley who all showed up looking retro-glam.

Day Five - Wife of British Prime Minister, Samantha Cameron, opened the doors of her Downing Street home to host a reception for the biggest names in Britain’s fashion industry. Virtually a fashion show itself, guests included Anna Wintour, Tom Ford and Poppy Delevigne to name a few.