London Fashion Week ends with new confidence

London Fashion Week drew to a close Tuesday after five days of shows that commentators said marked a new maturity for the event - despite a few catwalk tumbles and the odd naked model.

Three new designers were added to this season's official schedule and one hatmaker sent his models out nude, proving that London can still lay claim to being the adventurous younger sibling of the New York, Paris and Milan shows.

But the presence of global glamour house Burberry alongside veterans Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood has raised London's game, and commentators have noted an increasing maturity here that demands to be taken seriously.

"I think it's very polished, London, it's very sophisticated. It's lost that feeling of craziness, but at the same time the actual designs are new," British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman told AFP.

A sombre note was set by Monday's memorial service for designer Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide in February.

Among those who attended the ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral were US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, "Sex in the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker, Icelandic pop star Bjork and models Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.

Wintour and Parker stayed on for the Burberry Prorsum show late Tuesday to watch a typically assured collection dominated by leather jackets and trousers contrasted with soft fabrics and bright accessories.

The models wore sky-high platform pumps which were clearly hard to walk in - two models had to remove them and another took an embarrassing tumble.

Leather black biker jackets and padded beige leather trench coats were nipped in at the waist by bright belts in mint green and turquoise.

The bright colours echoed the neons that have peppered other shows here this weekend, including those by two of London's brightest young stars, Christopher Kane and Giles Deacon.

Kane displayed intricate designs in lace, graphic print and embroidery - all in shocking pinks, oranges and greens. He explained: "Working in neon gets the heart going."

Meanwhile Giles used a riot of colour, from bright-metallic eye-makeup to cartoonish knits, for a fun collection modelled by curvaceous models Kelly Brook and Abbey Clancey, the fiancee of England footballer Peter Crouch.

Some spectacular new venues were introduced onto the catwalk schedule this season, including a disused power station by the River Thames, and the old Eurostar train station at Waterloo, a cavernous space with a glass roof.

Another rising star, Peter Pilotto, used the station platforms as the catwalks for his show, displaying a mix of complicated pattern cutting and flyaway fabrics, slit skirts and full length jersey dresses in white and blue.

London has always been known as a place where new designers can get themselves heard, and French hatmaker Charlie Le Mindu has used this to great effect, hitting the headlines last year for a headdress made of real mice.

This season he sent several of his models out on the catwalk with nothing on, to ensure nothing distracted from their hats.

He echoed Vogue editor Shulman's suggestion that London was becoming more serious, but he told AFP that it mustn't forget its roots but should "have some more fun".

The grande dame of British fashion, Vivienne Westwood, has never struggled to mix maturity with fun and her Red Label collection this season was no exception, offering elegant yet funky suits with make-up that looked like the models had been splashed with brightly coloured paint.

"It's been such a special week again," said Harold Tillman, head of the British Fashion Council, adding: "In 2012 we've got the Olympics... we've got to start thinking about that."

Among those helping Tillman think about London's future will be Prime Minister David Cameron's wife Samantha, who is hoping to become formally involved with the event from next season.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine