I love London Fashion Week. I know it is deeply uncool to betray such enthusiasm, but I love the possibility of finding new and beautiful collections, and I love watching the other fashionistas to see what they are wearing. There is always such a mix; these are writers and PRs who frequently have access to the most beautiful and on-trend clothes in the world. Some of them look as though they truly understand a trend and how to make it work for them; some look positively ridiculous trying too hard and wearing pieces that simply don’t suit them; while most dress to strike a balance between on-trend and anonymity.
Anna Wintour, seated – naturally – on the front row wherever she went, wore Prada on Sunday – a perfect little low-key long-sleeve black tee with a bright-green leaf-print softly gathered skirt and her signature black sunnies.
The deliciously eccentric Hilary Alexander fashion director of The Daily Telegraph was rocking a kind of Pearly Queen vibe on Saturday, with a heavily beaded black coat, over a coral dress – brownie points for wearing one of the season’s strongest colours – topped by a fur cossack hat, complete with tail.
Looking around at any audience, it is apparent that the unwritten law of fashion editors is “Don’t Do as I do but do as I tell you.” Fashion commentators endorse a slew of looks throughout the season, but when it comes to dressing themselves they invariably fall back on black, on leather and on skinny jeans as the base for an outfit. Forget colour, forget difficult trousers. There was the odd splash of colour, but more often than not, colour was worn by the celebs in the front row, rather than the fashion writers and PRs, who layered black on black or occasionally navy on black. Camel was just about visible – maybe a half-dozen camel coats or jackets amid a sea of monochrome.
There was lots of fur in the form of fur collars and tippets adorning leather biker jackets and vintage-looking tweed coats. The other strong trend among the fashion commentariat was the maxi skirt – straight or pleated, but definitely not gypsy.
As for what was on the catwalk for next autumn, I absolutely loved Jaeger with its beautiful, 1970s-inspired coats, Nicole Farhi with her beautifully low-key, grown-up aesthetic and Betty Jackson, with her clever use of print, tweed and slouchy, covetable pieces. Newcomer Georgia Hardinge, with only her second runway show, held at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, offered a polished, accomplished collection that should catapult her into the top echelon of young designers. Other labels to watch include Irwin & Jordan and Teatum Jones – both with divinely wearable clothing for grown-up women.
Tell us whether you’ve given any thought to your Autumn wardrobe yet?