Alice, giant toadstools and Mr Fox turn Fashion Week into a literary wonderland
Some of Britain's brightest and most bankable names took to the catwalk yesterday as London Fashion Week continued with collections from Dame Vivienne Westwood, Mulberry and Matthew Williamson.
Daisy Lowe appeared on the catwalk for Westwood, watched from the front row by her boyfriend, Matt Smith (aka Doctor Who) as well as long-term fans of the label, Boris Becker and Jo Wood.
The designer's devoted cohort of followers, fashion editors and punks crammed into the Royal Courts of Justice to watch make-up smeared models in cottage industry-esque tapestry knits, pin-tucked shirts and skirts, and black velvet knickerbockers, topped off with wooly tartan crowns.
Westwood's message was one of sustainability, using an Alice in Wonderland motif to highlight the importance of natural, British materials.
Earlier, at a packed show attended by the supermodels Twiggy and Alexa Chung, Matthew Williamson showed his trademark tribal knits and Aztec prints on mini dresses and raffia-trimmed coats, paired with bright wool slacks and motocross trousers.
As befits a schedule of such globally conspicuous names, yesterday also saw the arrival of the senior American press, including Anna Wintour of US Vogue and Vanity Fair's Elizabeth Saltzman. With all the emerging heritage trends and talk of the royal wedding, they were no doubt taken with the odes to a pastoral English idyll that many designers led with.
Mulberry, famed for its handbags, presented an extensive collection inspired by Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox and featuring countrified outerwear and prim Land Girl dresses which might be found in the wardrobes of the more glamorous wives of Boggis, Bunce or Bean.
The ballroom at Claridges had been transformed for the show with foliage, and stuffed birds, while guests were welcomed by giant inflatable toadstools, somewhat incongruous on the windy, grey pavements. Back inside were quilted trenchcoats, naive duffle jackets in elephant cord, and military-style crombie overcoats, all in a forester's palette of mole, khaki and conker brown. Detailing referenced some of the label's most successful handbags, such as the big-selling Alexa satchel, with coats and satchels sharing similar fastenings, and wide-brimmed knee-high boots echoing shoulder bags in rich oaky tan hides.
Topshop Unique took as its inspiration a similar era but picked out more progressively urban and modernist elements, such as the art deco cityscapes of the Thirties and Forties.
Mid-length A-line skirts were worn with feminine blouses printed with dogs and nostalgic motorcars, recalling the likes of Betty Grable and Lana Turner. But the high street brand was careful not to alienate its younger, more trend-led audience; models in Dalmatian print faux fur coats and skirt suits exited to a soundtrack of Disney's Cruella de Vil and were made up with whimsical doggy noses.
There was also thoroughly modern pinstripe suiting with girlish sailor capes and soignee lounge dresses with chunky faux fur cuffs. Sheer organza shift dresses were decorated with images of the Brooklyn Bridge and New York skyline, in a nod perhaps to Topshop's growing status in the US, but also to the Great Depression, an era much referenced so far this season.
filmFilm producers sue Warner Bros for $75m over Hobbit films
sportNapoli 2 Arsenal 0: Gunners must now face either Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid or Barcelona in knock-out stages
Swedish stars ask fans for £195 pledges on crowd-funding website
voicesJust when you thought you could find a man, get married, and have a baby by the age of 35... it turns out you’re too late, says Grace Dent
musicAs Mariah Carey and Noddy Holder rake in the royalties from their classics, why there hasn't been a decent festive hit for 20 years?
theatreAuthor Daniel Rosenthal recalls the mishaps that almost brought the curtain down on the likes of John Gielgud and Diana Rigg
lifeAs the Royal Mail plans to phase out deliveries on two wheels, it's no wonder posties are in a spin
musicThe 21-year-old beat Ella Eyre and Chlöe Howl to win the honour
lifeFull of the joys and want to help your fellow man? December isn't the time to do it
techLuke Blackall reports on precision engineered prams and babygros that monitor your child 24-7
Life & Style blogs
YouTube: Top trending videos of 2013 - including Tom Daley and Peppa Pig
Chinese scientists 'increasingly confident' about invisibility cloak after making a cat disappear
GTA 5 update: Content Creator released, online heists and story mode updates coming soon
The rise of goo-goo gadgets: Hey baby, nice wheels!
Pirate Bay sets sail for Ascension Island after SX domain name seized by authorities
- 1 Nelson Mandela memorial: ‘Bogus’ interpreter made mockery of Barack Obama’s tribute in Soweto
- 2 John McAfee's $100 'anti-NSA' device: 'this is coming and cannot be stopped'
- 3 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 4 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- 5 Australia incest case: Filthy and severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding