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London Fashion Week A/W 2010 - Day One

Words: Jennifer McNulty and Deborah Latouche

I have to admit, I didn’t think I would enjoy the opening show of London Fashion Week but Paul Costelloe excitingly surprised me by presenting an eclectic collection that drew inspiration from a range of eras. 1950’s silhouettes – big shoulders and volumous bubble skirts - were mixed with 90’s waistcoat / rouched skirt combo’s and the bold pink cocktail dress of the finale was 100% 80’s. Throw in some pirate-esque menswear, tweed and military style coats and the collection is a real melting pot of ideas.

Holding it all together was the metallic colour palette. Metallic browns and blacks provided the base, with flashes of blues and purples throughout. All the models wore very interesting long leather thigh-high leg warmers, which at first glance looked like boots. Overall, a very wearable collection.

Photos: Jimmy James

Self styled ‘hair sculptor’ Charlie le Mindu this season was having his second catwalk show as part of the On|Off schedule. He was inspired by cults, religious secrets and the occult, which translated as human hair cut to look like fur, huge cage like structures and hair hats adorned with crucifixes and Faberge eggs. Everything was black, dramatic and successfully captured the voodoo spirit of his inspiration.

Photos: Deborah Latouche

Every season has a name to watch, the new wonder-kid on the block, this time round it was the turn of Central Saint Martin’s graduate, David Koma. His profile has risen considerably in recent months due to a host of celebrities, including Beyoncé and Cheryl Cole wearing his designs. There were high hopes for his A/W 10 collection and he didn’t disappoint. The body con dresses of previous seasons remained, for A/W, Koma was inspired by early 20th century graphic artists such as Fortunato Depero and Geoffrey Beene. They used diagonal and rapid strokes, which Koma translated bu giving us a black / nude / grey mix of dresses, which brought fireworks and crackers to mind with their zig-zag cuts and hemlines.

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For someone who is a new face to London fashion week Hakaan Yildirim really did pull in the crowd, he had kate moss on the front row and big models such as Natalia Vodianova on the catwalk.

Edward Enniful masterfully styled his immaculate sculptural pieces, the collection had a futuristic edge mixed with 90’s body con as Hakaan skilfully manipulated felt and leather into figure hugging dresses.

This show wowed me  - by far the best of the day!

Photos: Deborah Latouche

New for this season, the British Fashion Council have installed a digital space; fashion films have long been touted as the future of the industry and viewing Craig Lawrence’s A/W collection on this medium, it’s easy to see why. The fashion film allows for a high level of styling (styled by Katie Shillingford) and production, to showcase the clothes at their best, as well as displaying how they fit and move on the body. There is also the opportunity to establish the atmosphere of the collection and better convey the inspiration. Plus there is no clamouring for a seat and waiting ages for the delayed show to start, as the film is played on a loop. Lawrence’s stunning intricate gold dresses, made from woven and draped metallic yarns are perhaps only for the very fashion confident but wonderful to view nonetheless

Bora Aksu presented a collection of well-executed tulip dresses in shades of pale grey, pink, baby blue, black and copper tones.  His signature romantic style worked well with his theme of Marie Antoinette meets Edward Scissor hands, he layers silks and chiffon over textured metallic wool, creating lavishly embellished dresses worn over distressed black leggings adding a edgy gothic feel.

Photos: Deborah Latouche