London Fashion Week: The catwalk show-stoppers
- Credit: PA
In a whirlwind five days of high fashion, high heels and high drama, London Fashion Week secured the city’s position as one of the most exciting style capitals in the world.
Showcasing upcoming autumn/winter 13 collections, this February proved to be a bit of a blockbuster season.
Victoria Beckham jetted in to judge the International Woolmark Prize alongside Donatella Versace and Diane von Furstenberg; celebrity designer Tom Ford staged his womenswear catwalk for the first time in London, and Rihanna created a buzz with her debut fashion collection for River Island.
Its eclectic mix of British style puts London head and shoulders above New York, Milan and Paris.
Long-established brand heavyweights such as Burberry, Mulberry and Vivienne Westwood sit on the catwalk schedule alongside edgier designer darlings like Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Erdem.
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Take your front row seat for a whistlestop tour of the catwalk action.
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Photographers went wild for Tom Ford’s front row VIPs. Newlyweds Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel took time out from Hollywood red carpets for the designer’s womenswear London debut. The dapper couple declared the collection “phenomenal - the beading was beautiful and the gowns were amazing!”
Stand by to see Biel working one of Ford’s glamorous floor-length dresses, detailed with Lichtenstein-inspired pop art embellishment - made for paparazzi flash bulbs.
The model of the moment
Stand aside Kate Moss, there’s a new British supermodel in town. Crowned “model of the year” at the 2012 British Fashion Awards, Cara Delevingne lived up to her title, strutting her stuff at eight major London Fashion Week shows. Best pal singer Rita Ora even sported a “Queen Delevingne” t-shirt for the 20-year-old’s appearance at Burberry. Defined by her caterpillar eyebrows, the hottest property in planet fashion is set to become a household name. Watch this face.
What to wear when the entire fashion industry’s eyes are focused on you? US Vogue editor Anna Wintour plumped for a statement Prada white daisy applique black coat. Style’s equivalent of royalty made her first appearance on day three of London Fashion Week, bringing some flower power to the occasion with a matching dress. Twitter went bonkers and a flurry of fashion editors pulled the same coat out of the closet to wear the very next day.
The new recruit
Forget autumn/winter 13. Rihanna leap-frogged the designers’ way of doing things by showing a collection launching this March for River Island. In a dark, warehouse-style venue, the singer-turned-designer threw one big party for the fashion pack for day three’s Saturday night. There was no impromptu gig or modelling walk but, wearing a simple black dress from the line, Rihanna took to the catwalk podium to take a bow.
A 3pm afternoon show didn’t stop Julien Macdonald putting on a razzle-dazzle ‘em fashion fanfare, watched by girl band The Saturdays. After a one-year hiatus from the Fashion Week calendar, the designer came back with a bang to showcase his ‘Viva Las Vegas’ collection, christening each look with names like Black Jack, Casino Royale and Lady Luck. He piled on the showgirl glamour, with sequins, rhinestones, feathers and tassels galore shimmying down the catwalk, culminating in gold confetti showering the audience for the finale.
It was a belated Valentine’s special from Burberry Prorsum with the heartfelt ‘Trench Kisses’ collection. Heart motifs made their cheeky entrance in the form of big panties peeking from sheer latex coats and skirts, before appearing again printed on the brand’s trademark trenches. The fashion love-in continued with evening wear dresses featuring statement heart metal embellishment. Chief creative officer Christopher Bailey brought the show (and romance) to a close, serenading his captive audience with a live performance by musician Tom Odell.
There are some trends that never date: monochrome, animal print and girly pink. Moschino Cheap & Chic took all three themes and reinvented them with a modern, punky twist. There was a dash of rebellion with bold graffiti, oversized silhouettes and statement question mark motifs. But being an Italian label, this was a Milanese style of polished punk. Models shoes were stompy but the heels were mirrored - handy for re-applications of the statement black lipstick.
Jasper Conran painted the catwalk red, quite literally, with a lacquered runway to showcase his eye-popping collection of brights. Sixties icon Mia Farrow may have been the muse for the silhouette but this was all about colour with the designer clashing together a fiery palette of hot pinks, reds, oranges and yellows. And the accessory for autumn/winter 13? Many of the models peeked out from beneath bell-shaped, soft cloche hats in similarly bright shades that battled for attention with their bold lipstick.