10 dresses from London that lit my proverbial fire. Yes!
Kinder Aggugini's pretty dresses are perfect for a lazy summer. Wait, which season are we in again? I imagine the polka dotted and floral dresses sitting in fields by rivers eating picnics. Which, thinking about it, might be a nice little bit of escapism for A/W!
There's something about Topshop that makes me massively proud to be British. Ok, so they're not perfect by a long shot - accusations of sweatshops, anybody? - but I get the feeling that they're trying, at least. And god, was this an excellent collection for Topshop Unique. There were one hundred million references - rave, crop circles, sci-fi, acid house - and somehow it's the most delicious mess. Unique gets stronger with every collection... I love it!
Another (upper end) high street institution going from strength to strength is Jaeger London. After a great S/S 09 collection (which I raved about back in September) the design team presented another awe-inspiring collection of graphic tailored clothes for a clever working woman. In the same way that I enjoy Top Gear even though I don't care about cars, I can appreciate and even covet Jaeger's clothes even though I know they are not aimed at me in any way. And that to me proves its credentials.
Danielle Scutt's show was strong, sophisticated and um, inspired by cocks. Cockerels, obviously: her suits had red lapels like a cock's red coxcombs.
It felt a little 80s - what didn't this season? - but it felt relevant and strong and the black, white and red prints were gorgeous. I wouldn't at all mind being one of Scutt's empowered women.
Peter Pilotto's clothes are a subtly beautiful fit and are apparently selling well amongst early fashion adopters - A/W is only Pilotto's and his partner Christopher De Vos' second on-schedule season - but this thoughtful collection could well send their dresses mainstream. Inspired by the Big Bang and natural history, the silk tufted dresses (I thought it was feathers!) are printed with digitalised versions of fur and animal skin.
I keep wanting to say beautiful, because I just honestly really think it is.
This opening dress from a collection of - wait for it - yet more bandage dresses with cut-outs proved to be the most exciting thing on Mark Fast's agenda, but that's not to say it wasn't a good show. It was strong and sexy, but I felt slightly exhausted by it all. Can I really look at yet more 80s inspired clothing?
Simplified images of perfumes bottles adorned Mary Katrantzou's womanly dresses for Fall, teamed with oversized collars, huge jewelry and slicked back quiffed hair. I find that when I'm looking at the shows, I divide the things I like into two categories - things I like but wouldn't wear personally and things I like and would kill to wear, if you'd give me half the chance! Karantzou's feminine dresses have moved on from her simple shifts and sheaths of last season to become more draped and elegantly twisted. This branching out on style whilst puts her firmly in my latter category. The more I look at this, the more I love it - right down to the styling and gorgeous make-up.
I agree completely with Style.com when they say that an up side of the recession is that designers are thinking more closely and carefully about exactly what individuality they bring to the table. Sinha-Stanic are one of those brands that seem to have gotten more themselves since the pressure is on and it's working beautifully. This marabou trimmed purple marbelled dream dress is my favourite and although the whole collection didn't exactly work, there were some amazing gems in there, including some amazing rock and roll studded dresses.
I don't know what to say about this outfit except: It's grey, it's purple, it's gorgeous. It's Giles: what is there not to love? I want it and ultimately, isn't that the goal?
Fashion East has been bringing amazing designers to wider attention since 2000 and has showcased many designers that are now household names when they were just starting: House of Holland, Richard Nicoll, Marios Schwab and Jonathan Saunders (who I lovelovelove), to name just a few. I know I can trust the taste of Fashion East and I look forward to being educated by them each season!
For A/W they presented three designers, one of whom, Natasha Stolle, created the amazing outfit below. I love the slouchy, attitude-y sexiness of it and those twisted sheer knee highs. WOW. Please please please donate me this outfit? I'll wear it til it falls apart, seriously.