LONDON FASHION WEEK A/W 2011: DAY TWO


Daks

Daks works some of the previous winter's key trends, heritage checks, knitwear, quilting and leather for the next cold season. This collection is all beautiful, clean lines, with a few sculpted shapes thrown in for good measure. While lots of knitted jumpers show its more conventional side, fitted shirts, capes, leather pieces and a fresh take on quilting are fashion-forward and instantly desirable, worthy of a big heritage brand and the great British outdoors.



Charles Anastase

Anastase shows amazing, cheeky vintage inspired pieces in red wine, cream, navy and black, plus incredibly well-cut winter outerwear in navy, camel, nude and grey. Although pieces for the latter are quite minimalistic, due to my fascination with great coats and craftsmanship, I can't help but love and cherish this collection. And, I will be having dreams of jumpsuits for months to come.



Betty Jackson

Betty goes all red, cream and black in soft furry fabric, silk chiffon and leather. The high patent mary jane platforms look incredible with each and every piece, soft cocoon dresses, knee-length skirts, flowy numbers, even with suits. She may say it's a lot of Patti Smith, big flowers and Chelsea Hotel New York, but I think it's the vivid dreams of a fairytale figure I'll just call Big Red Riding Hood.



Kinder Aggugini

1950s French couture, 1980s conceptual Japanese fashion, and iconic art collector Peggy Guggenheim's style have all inspired Aggugini for next autumn/winter. He keeps showing very different collections each time, but he is always the way to go for immortals venturing out in broad -or rather, pale- daylight. Be sure to read the separate seasonal mood piece on Kinder Aggugini - that should explain my addiction.



Jaeger London

The creme de la creme of premium high street brands walks us through how to do pared-down 70s, and make it exciting. A simple lesson in heritage, travel and the British Empire, but do take note, this may well be what we will be wearing in the real world for the next season.
 



Louise Gray

Crazy, exuberant, in-your-face, call it what you will. It's time to go overboard with Gray's prints and motifs, clashes, double-layered skirts, and contrast boots. I must admit I loved her "simple" dresses, and could not help giggling at the cool bras with puffa straps, which redefine the underwear as outerwear trend. This kind of lingerie is not just something you want to show, it's something you cannot hide.
 



John Rocha

Taking inspiration from the paintings of Pierre Soulages and the wild, barren landscapes of Iceland, Rocha showed a collection that is living proof that gothic is not a one-season wonder. It can -and therefore should- be continually re-worked to accommodate new trends. His beautiful, dramatic, sculpted shapes and intricate textures offer the coolest alternatives to those with aversions towards current trends of oversizing, midi lengths or asymmetry. In addition, some of his pieces are a great contribution to humanity's pool of knowledge of how you can work sheer fabrics into an outfit.
 



Issa London

The brand that exploded to global recognition thanks to soon-to-be princess Kate wearing that perfect slinky royal blue dress designed by Daniella Issa Helayel, returns with the loudest, most shameless 70s bling. While the collection definitely has touches of other decades (50s and 60s), and pays homage to the style of the Dutchess of Windsor, I can promise it will come to the rescue should you be wondering what to wear for the reopening of Studio 54.



House of Holland

(play)House of Holland proudly presents bingo, Grandma, tweeds, crochet, pearls, striped socks and loads of quirky fun. No smarty-pants analysis this time, I must let the looks speak for themselves! It's incredible to see Henry's work getting better and better with each collection. True, he is well-loved already both as a designer and as a person, but I dare say he is one to watch, and I mean it the big way. You won't regret following him on Twitter either!



Clements & Ribeiro

I remember the names of Suzanne and Inacio from the early 2000s, their Cacharel days when their collections caught my eye with the most beautiful floral print pieces I had ever seen. The warmth of the signature prints is there, but the collection is a huge step towards grannywear (blame the midi trend). Still, colour-blocking, print-blocking, flashes of electric blue, a bit of military and the corset detailing on dresses and tops that give a sharp, structured feel to some of the outfits make the designs just as desirable as before.




Jonathan Saunders

When new trends burst onto the scene after a few seasons' quiet simmering, many shows become formal lessons in a few key elements, whether designers go full shock & awe or decide to tread cautiously. What Saunders has in tow for us for next autumn is incredible prints and a few perfectly ladylike shapes, but he goes beyond that. The way he uses print to optically create or emphasise cuts, and the fact that there's always a can't-try-this-at-home twist or two to his clothes that truly sets him apart. That said, I wonder if the high street will take notice and help us out...


runway stills: elleuk.com, except runway photos for John Rocha (elle.com).

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