Fashion statement: Our London labels mix initiative with idiosyncrasy


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Indy Lifestyle Online

By this point of the international collections, at least two early-doors autumn 2013 trends will have been called.

The safest way to do this is to plump for a decade and an art movement, and then stick a modifier such as “retro” or “super” in front of either – it's a bit like generating your Hobbit name online, or clicking the Daily Mail headline website until it mixes racial generalisation and parochial outrage to just the perfect alchemy of hilarity.

By now, everyone will also have contracted a cold. Some of the lucky ones get theirs during New York so they can recover and look less like of a zombie by the time the Milan shows start, and avoid the pity and contempt of glamorous Italian women who aren't covered in snot. Others, like me, are simply low-level ill throughout the period and accessorise their snazzy clutch bags with a red nose and a damp tissue clamped in whichever hand they're not scribbling/tweeting/waving across the catwalk with. But by this point also, you get a sense of identity from the collections and from the cities they're held in. New York all sleek and sexy and sophisticated; Milan full of bravura and bombast; Paris the pinnacle; and London, where the runways are thronging with togs even as you read this.

Showing their wares today are some of the city's biggest names: Burberry, Christopher Kane, Giles and JW Anderson (pictured). All acclaimed for very different reasons; all leaders in their chosen fields; and all about as diverse as they come. The commercial giant; the conceptual cool kid; the latter-day couturier; and the avant-garde rebel – each of them makes up part of British fashion's inimitable profile and sense of style. There's room for all of them, but what's most exciting about the British shows at the moment is how many of those names have learnt to match idiosyncrasy with initiative, to ensure they aren't just a flash in the pan.