I know it feels like such a long way away but with the weather acting the way it is, its not too much of a stretch to think about what we may be wearing later on in the year.
Well Spring and certainly the summer were far from the thoughts of the Fashion Elite as they hit London this weekend for London Fashion week and the Autumn Winter 2013 Catwalk shows.
Designers showing included Dame Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label, Mulberry, Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane to Debenham’s darlings Julian Macdonald, House of Holland, John Rocha and Jasper Conran. Kate Middleton favourites Issa and Temperley London also featured and Print King and Queen Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou also showed their collections. Red carpet favourites Maria Grachvogel and Roksanda Ilincic and the delectable Tom Ford (queue an unnecessary but gorgeous photo of Tom, well it can’t all be about clothes). As a fashion geek I was excited to see what Tom showed as it was his first time at the event and as a big fan of his designs I was keen to see what he brought down the catwalk.
The other big name drawing the attention of the masses to the event was the debut of Rihanna’s collection for River Island, other high street brands also featured such as Whistles and the now stalwart Topshop Unique. A clear sign that the fashion sands are a shifting and taking into account the changing demands of the consumer. While many covet and aspire to the designer ranges, the vast majority like me are keen to follow the trends but need the high street to convert the looks into something more affordable.
RiRi’s collection is great if you’re a size six and with no boobs and you’re prepared to freeze in the depths of winter, lots of strappy dresses, cropped tops and thigh flashing which if I was ten years younger I may well be queing up outside River Islands door. But there in lies my problem I’m not in my twenties and I fear way out of the target demographic for this collection although I did strangely like this yellow dress. I hate yellow normally as its such a hard colour for nearly all skintones to wear, plus the fact that I can’t work out if the model is wearing a second piece around her waist or its part of the dress I still can’t help but be madly drawn to it..I love it! Would I wear it, probably not. But what it does show is this two length skirt that also featured at Peter Pilotto and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi which are two of my favourite collections from the weekend.
The AW 13 collection from Preen reminded me very much of Mango or Zara so as a fan of the High Street brand I found this show very interesting and I felt was one of the most transferrable and wearable. It featured edge to edge closing coats with cross body zips with a real mod edge to their designs
They too had the two length skirts but i particulary liked theres as the skirts were often in differing fabrics like this leather and lace one, although I can’t imagine wearing the lace top quite like this I think a little slip would be perfectly acceptable given most of us don’t wish to show off our boobies in public.
I am personally a bit fearful of print and find it really hard to find ones that I feel comfortable wearing but I loved the graduated prints in the Preen show and that the dominating colours were black, white and red a great fail safe for those of us who are not massively adventourous
The colour palette of the collections seemed to be pretty similar throughout many of which were muted and toned down, Burgandy featured heavily and was seen in Mulberry & Issa with Plum tones in House of Holland, Jasper Conran. Browns, mustards, muted golds & blues, coral pinks and muted oranges, checks that looked like magnified tartan as well as American Inspired prints at Issa and Brocade fabrics at Clements Ribeiro.
Lengths of skirts and dresses were either on or below the knee or the tricky to pull off 7/8ths (mid calf), you literally have to be 5ft 7in and over for the mid calf length to look anywhere near right on you. I thought the Temperley London range was another range that leant itself to the masses and I hope to see it emulated on the high street. Their darted A line skirts had a real 50′s inspiration to them and they offered ladies the chance to wrap up warm with voluminous or swing coats and long sleeve tops or shirts.
Both Temperley London and Jasper Conran took inspiration from 60′s shift dresses, with Jasper’s range being tone on tone from head to foot which is great for adding height and elongating your body.
Coats are obviously a necessary part of any womans Autumn Winter Wardrobe, most of the lengths were on or past the knee, Swing styles featured in a number of shows, short tailored cropped jackets looked great with tailored full length trousers.
I Love this fur trimmed Mulberry cropped jacket
And this oversized fur collared magnified tartan coat looks like it will keep you lovely and warm on those bitter winter days.
Mulberry also featured the 7/8th’s or mid calf length trousers with bare legs which was interesting often worn with a knee length dress, skirt or coat over the top. Its not one I see catching on to be honest, I think this length trouser at this time of year will be pretty unforgiving and cause lots of drafts.
Embellishment was the name of the game for Julian Macdonald who’s collection made the models shimmer like mermaids, my favourite dress was this plunging out and out Red Carpet wonder
The king of prints Peter Pilotto had, in my opinion an outstanding show. His mirror image, butterfly like prints never cease to amaze me and the futurisitc feel to the shapes of his dresses capture the essence of being edgy without you feeling like you’ve stepped onto a thunder birds set. His prints were copied many times over by the high street with one particular by Zara last year that I literally hunted down all over the country but failed to get as it had sold out everywhere. Marks and Spencer often try and pick up on these prints too if memory serves me correctly. The collection featured lots of black and white with hints of yellow and turquoise and again on the knee was the key length of skirt.
Heart prints featured at Burberry Prorsum alongside animal prints and shock of horrors flat shoes.. The heart print will be pretty easy for the high street to replicate so keep your eye out for shirts but remember to keep them buttoned up to be on trend the perspex pencil skirt is purely at your discretion ;0) Maybe a leather pencil skirt in a toning colour will give the edge that I think Burberry are looking to achieve.
Finally Tom Ford’s show looks amazing from what I can see, at the time of going to press I could only find hastily taken twitter and instagram pictures (ah you’ve got to love social media) so far I’m loving the Orange Kapow Dress.
And Grazia’s own Paula Reed tweeted this gorgeous column Tulle dress, which is unforgivingly tight but gorgeous!
London fashion Week continues tomorrow with Red Carpet staples Maria Grachvogel and Roksanda Ilincic but I fear I’m becoming a fashion bore so I will write about these two seperatley if anything amazing (which I suspect there will be many) comes down the catwalk.
In conclusion I think we’ll see on the knee or below the knee length skirts pull through to the High street with buttoned up print shirts and lots of Burgandy and muted colours which will give us a nice alternative to boring grey and black..