As most of the venues for my programme today were around Oxford Circus, I dragged myself there (as awful as it is to be surrounded by shopping paradise) and was able to have a look around between shows. First stop was the Burberry Flagship store on Regent Street, a huge shining example of the power of the brand. I was met with champagne and had the chance to have a quick look around at the Bloomsbury Girls collection and the fabulous hand painted creations before the show was beamed live to the store. I was pretty impressed with the make up and the new fragrance, My Burberry. Cara, Kate and Mario Testino arrived and proceedings were commenced. There were some beautiful ensembles, and the central pieces were sheer and pleated, and paired with the trendiest walking sandals I’d ever seen. As Cara had graduated to the FROW, Suki Waterhouse and Jourdan Dunn were handed the SS baton, and wore some of the most commercial looks. I particularly enjoyed the menswear, which was a riot of colour and made a strong statement for all confident boys out there.
After dragging myself away from Burberry World, I then headed to the startlingly elegant Rosewood Hotel on High Holborn Street for a presentation by Huishan Zhang. Again I was met with champagne and afternoon tea, at a table close to the makeshift catwalk. The Chinese designer, who worked for Dior during his fashion studies blends East with West effortlessly in most of his collections. Each look was sexy and feminine, with some amazing feather work and beautiful new look style dresses (full review to follow).
The Chuan Spa at the Langham Hotel was the last stop of the day for me. The running around and grabbing crap to eat has taken its toll on my skin, so an hour long facial was necessary to try to rebalance. The treatment rooms were themed on the elements, and the heated bed did wonders for my aching back. The Thalgo Prescriptive facial was amazing and incorporated a facial massage and head massage, and the therapist even managed to loosen some of the knots around my shoulder blades. The relaxation area was an oasis of calm with all the current magazines, which I poured over with great tea and fruit.
The collection commenced with a flurry of beautifully embroidered sheer and predominantly green Victoriana style mid-calf dresses, which were paired with brogues to pour even more Victoriana into the mix. It was all very botanical, with ferns and other leaves strategically covering the more private areas. A couple of suits were thrown in for good measure, with shorter dresses worn with gladiator sandals almost up to the knee (by Nicholas Kirkwood). My personal favourite looks were the exquisitely embroidered top paired with dark grey culottes, and then a skirt done in the same amazing style paired with a sheer turquoise top (see above right). Truly stunning attention to detail.
There was a definite nautical feel to the collection, but somehow CK managed to interpret that in the sexiest way possible. The colour palette was burgundy and a stunning lilac blue in the main, which towards the end were combined with striking results. The collection was dedicated to his mentor at Central St Martin’s, Louise Wilson, whose death was a massive loss to the fashion education institution which produces the best in the business. There was plenty of sheer and pleats, seen in many other shows, but CK’s inventive links, roping and draping ensured that he stood out from the crowd. I adored the final looks, which were jaw- droppingly gorgeous and incredibly inventive, with tulle peeking out at the neckline and hems.
Anyone who is into print or graphics needs to check out this vibrant, zany collection. The main theme was almost like a retro computer panel or mixing desk, with neon coloured discs grouped together over a leaf like pattern, which worked amazingly to emphasise the colours. The jackets were exquisite and would look amazing with anything black. Towards the middle of the show the overriding pattern changed to incorporate an ear shape in a multitude of colours, again over a simplistic embroidery for added effect on skater dresses. The final looks were too much like Roksanda for me, but the rest was perfection.
Trust Mr Ford to rock up to London and remind everyone how to do sexy. And black. What will all the colour love going on earlier today this was a welcome respite from the rainbow. Of course it was glamorous and achingly cool. (There would have been hell on if it wasn’t). As the first looks rocked out, with ultra high animal print heels, themes started to emerge – plenty of sheer to crank up the sex, sequinned metallic green and black, fringing and suede then merging into black and silver pieces which I imagined would go down well in Studio 54. The highlight – the daring sheer tops and dresses with sequinned nipple covers, Tom must be one of the only designers around that could ever make this look classy. Binx Walton was almost unrecognisable with tousled fringed hair (makes a change from the greased down look) and rocked one of the best looks – a floor length white gown which was almost Grecian, and featured the nipple covers. He also sent out gold lame bandage dresses, gothic black floor length coats, bands of strategically placed black sequins over sheer and fabulous thigh high split skirts. I think I love him nearly as much as Yves and Karl. The models were too thin, but we should know by now not to expect reality from Mr Ford.
The final day sees Simone Rocha, Fashion East, Ashish and Meadham Kirchoff!