The "barbecue summer" might have been a washout, but at London Fashion Week yesterday British designers seemed set for a scorching spring/ summer 2010. That's judging by the bright colours, underwear as outerwear, minis and bare flesh on display.
One of the biggest shows of the morning came from Matthew Williamson, who seems most at home designing summer clothes. The British designer creates clothes for a wealthy boho set.
With Twiggy and Yasmin le Bon watching, Williamson displayed his trademark acid colours and embellishment. The latter came in beaded panels on tops and shift dresses, and shorts and dress sleeves with so many beads they almost looked furry. Triangular mirrored panels adorned swimsuits and tops; yet more shine came from metallic bronze shorts and silver shifts. Williamson, also the Creative Director of Pucci, has designed two ranges for high street chain H&M, and showed several red carpet dresses. Figure-hugging mini dresses came in ruched silk jersey with blue and green or purple and pink patterns; many had cutaway backs and sides.
Peekaboo bare skin wasn't the only way to turn up the heat. Earlier in the day veteran London Fashion Week designers Betty Jackson and Jasper Conran, and up and coming Louise Goldin all proposed underwear as outerwear. Goldin's eye-popping main motif was the cone bra, recalling the pointy bras of the Fifties, with sci-fi panelling. Space-age sparkle came from Baroque swirls rendered in gold, crystal-studded tight trousers and even gold organdie knickerbockers. Corsetry-inspired detailing was strong for Jasper Conran, who combined white ballerina and prom dresses and cropped jeans with bra cups.
At the Vivienne Westwood Red Label show later in the day, the ever-political grande dame was keen to remind her audience of the scarier side of rising temperatures. Models carried soft toy frogs to highlight the destruction of the rainforest. The clothes, modelled by Pixie Geldof and Daisy Lowe, reflected the designer's trademark shapes, with draped-front jackets, cowl neck dresses and harem-style trousers in stripes, checks and brocade fabrics.
At Julien Macdonald, the clothes were as body conscious and sexy as one might expect. There was a sportswear influence with techno stretch body-stockings suitable for ritzy gym-goers.
Today at London Fashion Week
The British designer returned to London in 2007 after six years at New York Fashion Week. Expect irreverent takes on British tailoring.
* Marios Schwab
Schwab recently became the head designer at American label Halston.
With Sienna Miller and sister Savannah at the helm, there's likely to be some celeb-gawping opportunities.
* Christopher Kane
The former fashion wunderkind letting everyone in on the designer action with his new Topshop range.