The frenetic pace of shows happening at this year's London's Fashion Week had fashion editors running in their 5-inch stiletto heels. The weather was nippy as usual for this time of year, but by glancing around at every show, you'd have no idea. Editors, buyers, and their subordinate minions--myself included--were taking advantage of well-heated rooms and complementary miniature bottles of Irish whiskey. In pubs and out on the street, the look and the decided mood at London Fashion Week was quadrophenia.
Starting off the week with a quite unexpected bang was design duo Felder Felder. They demonstrated not only style and skill but also sheer audacity as they debuted models as modern rock goddesses in golden, gilded, pleated full skirts and sleek golden jumpers worn over dark cashmere sweaters. For those who took the plunge and bought a bright orange investment bag to wear with everything this spring and summer season, you can take a deep breath because designers are carrying this color trend forward for Fall 2012. So you'll be able to get the most out of just about everything you buy in one of fall's richest colors.
Over at Central Saint Martins, the look was decidedly more "arts and crafts" and "DIY" than anything that was too ready to wear. However, despite offering a collection that would go directly from catwalk to store shelves, collections looked as if they could go directly to Barnum and Bailey's or a children's theater production. Outside of the fray at Central Saint Martins were a few ingenious designs that offered a fresh take on color blocking and proportion. Long, newly-designed color-blocking patterns on finely-knit long sweater dresses are a must have for this fall's chilly weather.
Moving onto DAKS, which took a stab at Burberry's infamous check design and showed chic, long trench coats in rich check wool and tweed fabrics. Using a military officer's coat detail, DAKS infused a woman's coat with an air of masculinity and gave an assertive power to the coats. Winter creams and rich, buttery, camel leathers with burnt brown buttons for contrast were also exhibited on a new proportion for trenches this fall that were all long and lean. So for fall, neutral day wear, punctuated by brightly colored accessories bought in the spring and summer, is "in".
Creating a whole new modern was ANTIPODIUM, bringing in the new "Sixties Modern Prep Woman." ANTIPODIUM offered classic proportions and shapes, but newly rendered using high-grade clear plastics over cashmere sweaters and fine cotton button-up shirts over sleek pencil skirts: "The modern girl's guide to preppy dressing."
This fall, it's about a return to neutrals punctuated by accessories in a sixties acid color palette. Shapes are kept fresh by keeping them long and lean and a little bit loose. Investment dressing is definitely back, and the best deals for "cost per wear" can be found at Burberry. Whimsical accents like puffy, giant, bow-trimmed pockets on trenches accentuated with muted, acid-yellow bow belts were divine. Shapes were accentuating a woman's curves, particularly her hips, while waistlines continued to be narrow. Looks were buttoned up and prim, presenting a more subdued and intimated sexuality rather than last year's more overtly titillating proportions.