A flash of brash in a fitting finale to Fashion Week

Tradition gives way to colour, glitz – and a glam-rock vibe

The final day of women's collections at London Fashion Week yesterday saw designers rejecting the nostalgically British styles on show over the weekend in favour of something altogether more brash. "It was about fun and nightlife," Benjamin Kirchhoff, one half of acclaimed duo Meadham Kirchhoff, said after their show. "Our references were glam rock."

So much was evident in colourful feather and tinsel coats, striped lurex tights and a tartan dress cut low at the front to expose a sequinned turquoise bustier. There was a suit made from multi-coloured paillettes banded in waves and scarlet trousers decorated with gold brocade, while models sporting towering bleached beehives threw streamers and glitter.

But in among the references to outré performance artist Leigh Bowery were eminently wearable pieces – knitwear emblazoned with smiling fanged hearts and chubby rainbows; panelled chiffon babydoll dresses edged with black lace; and superbly tailored trousers in Rupert the Bear yellow check – which will no doubt go on to sell well. These were proof that beyond all the delightfully lurid excess, the duo has a grown-up attitude.

Meanwhile Mary Katrantzou, who started Fashion Week with the news that her collection for Topshop had sold out, consolidated her credentials with a collaboration with the French atelier Lesage, the artisanal embroiderers to Paris couturiers.

Its handiwork came in ornate beading atop Katrantzou's provocative prints. Spoons, typewriters and even pencil erasers were digitally rendered on corseted dresses that spoke of highly complex pattern-cutting. Elsewhere, panniers and yokes bristled with beading that gave grass and maze prints a 3D astroturf effect. One skirt was embellished with hundreds of pencils, wittily brought to life from the earlier printed versions. It was a collection that fans will love, but Katrantzou seems wedded to the sort of overly constructed silhouette that most have moved on from.

Roksanda Ilincic's aesthetic has more to do with fluidity, toughened up with sportswear references that came in the shape of cord ties and hoods on silk tops finished with the ribbed cuffs and hem of a Varsity baseball jacket. Worn with full A-line circle skirts, they suggested a relaxed but vintage sort of elegance, consolidated by Ilincic's trademark evening gowns – a simple navy silk column dress stood out, draped with a contrasting panel of aquamarine.

Other highlights included Danish designer Peter Jensen's paeon to his friend, the milliner Thelma Speirs. Taking her as his muse, he showed a collection of almost twee separates subverted with unexpected colours and prints.

To celebrate the end of the womenswear shows, editors, designers and industry figureheads gathered at 10 Downing Street last night, where American Vogue editor Anna Wintour thanked Topshop's Philip Green for providing a decade of financial support for young designers as part of the NEWGEN scheme.

Today marks the end of London Fashion Week with a timetable dedicated to the capital's menswear designers. Gucci, meanwhile, kicks off the Milan schedule at lunchtime.

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'