Last week was London Fashion Week, where designers were showing their Autumn/Winter Collections for 2014, and I thought I would pop along to soak up the atmosphere.
This bi-annual fashion event is not only a great opportunity to see what is coming up later in the year, but also to see what the great and the good of British fashion are doing.
There are so many shows to see across the week that London Fashion Week now has a Fashion Weekend as well!
Having been a bit busy during the week, I decided to have a look at some of the shows available at the weekend.
Every day had morning and afternoon sessions, with both Designer collection shows as well as Trend shows, and I wanted to give you a few highlights from each.
First up were the Designer catwalk shows, all of which (for Fashion Weekend anyway) were British labels. I didn't get many photos (too busy applauding!) but you can see loads of images on London Fashion Weekend's official Facebook page.
This British designer is now well and truly synonymous with glamour, be it in her dresses or her accessories. 'Clean Glam' is her trademark, including chic day-dresses, impeccable tailoring and luxurious fabrics.
For A/W14 there was very little colour but there was definitely boldness and strength in the structure, with cinched-in waists, mixed textures and long length coats.
Founded in 1982, this label has developed a reputation for producing some of the finest in laid-back luxe design. For understated elegant knitwear, outerwear, tailoring and separates this is the label to be seen in.
In natural tones of green, brown, sky blue and black, Joanna Sykes, creative director at the label describes the look as “timeless style and effortless elegance… wardrobe pieces made from luxurious fabrics and interesting textures.”
Anyone who is a fan of Strictly will be familiar with Julien, not just because of his recent performance on the show but because of his behind the scenes chat on all the dresses!
Forever waxing lyrical about bugle beads and godets, one might be tempted to think his dresses would all be way over-the-top, camp ballgowns covered in ostrich feathers, but you'd be wrong – so wrong!!
What Julien MacDonald sent down the catwalk was so superbly crafted and designed, so stylish and sexy, that it resulted in a spontaneous standing ovation from the audience (not something easily achieved from the jaded fashion crowd). His dresses have WOW factor! And with the trends for metallics and lace being at the forefront of A/W14, he was right on the money!
Founded in 1994 and celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, this label has become the secret of the world's most stylish women, including Yasmin LeBon, Emma Thompson (who I spotted in the front row at the S/S14 show back in September), Florence Welch and Jessie J. The secret is all in the cut.
Trend Picks for S/S14
The 'Trends' catwalk shows included highlights from the previous London Fashion Week and gave us an insight as to what is currently showing up on the High Street for this season, where – let's face it – the real world shops!
Metallics: Antonio Berardi, Balmain, Marni and many more were opting for fabrics with an iridescent shimmer. As with any trend I always suggest that less is more. I don't think we should ever be slaves to fashion, but equally we shouldn't be afraid of being its friend.
Try this look by adding one or two seperates in a metallic finish and pairing with some simple basics already in your wardrobe. if you really want to go to town and get all futuristic, why not try a slinky satin in a vibrant metallic hue?
Flower Power: From 60s-inspired prints to oversized motifs, many of the designers were embracing the power of the flower! Erdem, Jonathan Saunders and Preen all blossomed on the catwalk this season.
Lace is Ace!: If you want to add a little texture to your wardrobe, why not embrace some lace. Again, don't over do it – adding a little lace skirt and pairing it with your favourite blouse is definitely the most lady-like way to pull off the lace look. Layering is another way to add this look to your collection; add some sheer lace over a base layer to add contrast and depth. Christopher Kane, Diane von Furstenberg and Oscar de la Renta are all at it!
Sports Luxe: Elevate your comfort wear to sports style and dress that basic T-shirt up. Cool, comfortable and classic is how you will look as this trend continues to rock the catwalk. Think exaggerated silhouettes, rounded shoulders and relaxed fabrics. Game on.
If you're interested in shopping for these trends, head over to our 2014 Spring/Summer trends page and find out more!
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