Saturday, 20 September 2008

Trends that sell: London's winning looks

There were plenty of ideas at London Fashion Week and not all of them crazy! The 80s was the decade du jour with many designers referencing the time that style forgot. 20s, 30s and even 40s or 50s were also mentioned in dispatches but whatever the era there were a handful of winning looks that London designers did well and will, in time also do well for retailers. Here's the best looks to start researching now:

It's all about the headgear for spring, where it's a good time to be in accessories. Especially hats.

Leader of the pack has to be the granny-chic jaunty net affairs at Luella, who set the tone for the age-old ladylike instant glamour hit. Polka dots and bows are de rigeur with great looking net and full on party hats at PPQ.

Meanwhile at Temperley London, more romantic headgear was the order of the day, with the top-hat meets cloche or Grecian floral crowns for her "Romantic Odyssey" collection.

And there was more than a nod to Madonna's 80s film Desperately Seeking Susan with bows-as-hairbands at Danielle Scutt, Emma Cook and Topshop.

And as for colour, well it's time for neon pastels or candy-box inspirations: check out PPQ, Richard Nicoll, and Josh Goot for clear purveyors of new colour options. Topshop had a go while Luella takes the crown for best and liberal use of colour full stop.
Metallics are a recurring summer option as are spring florals - take your pick from the best looks for night and day from Nathan Jendon, Marios Schwab and Roksanda in shimmering form while House of Holland, Luella and Erdem should join forces at the Chelsea Flower Show.

Sheer layering
is here to stay after New York's lead, and it looks set to confuse everyone with new lengths and proportions, so start practicing early with the likes of Meadham Kirchhoff, Aquascutum, and Louise Goldin or Christopher Kane.

Scallops are the new ruffles - so says Christopher Kane and Emma Cook and Roksanda Ilincic.

Gekko-chic gave London dinosaur appeal with Christopher Kane and Eley Kishimoto both references reptiles while Kane continued the beast appreciation society with Planet of the Apes style photo-print dress, Flintstones inspired leopard cashmere along with Emma Cook's elephant skin ruffled print dress.

The boyfriend jacket looks like it's here to stay too - add an accentuated rever for tuxedo style at Todd Lynn or an elongated line from Topshop and Ann Sofie Back.

Grey jersey was everywhere - and not that boring! Try newbie Natascha Stolle, Peter Jenson and Luella for the best marled looks.

Suits galore - all in ones that is. Try a romper, play or utility suit from Marios Schwab, Topshop or Danielle Scutt for effortless workwear options.

"Subtle sexuality" was the overall theme for Harvey Nichols' fashion director Averyl Oates, who liked the undercurrent of S&M and peek-a-boo looks creeping through, while womenswear director at Selfridges Anita Barr like the energetic video game references at Giles or 3D volume touches from scallops and frilled edging at Christopher Kane.

New talent maybe the reason they come to London but new trends is the reason people buy London design and why shopping here is worldclass.

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