Spring fashion? Wintour is still key to the season

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Indy Lifestyle Online

It was not a designer name, but a household one nonetheless, that was the big draw on the third day of London Fashion Week as Topshop showed its Unique collection.

With The Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" playing into the venue and a picture of Cleopatra – Liz Taylor's famous portrayal, of course – as the show invite, the Pharaonic references came thick and fast. Models were gilded from top to toe – with gold leaf in their hair, gold hieroglyphs and gold foil snakes serpentining across chunky-knit sweaters, and fearsome gold and black gladiator sandals.

This was Ancient Egypt by way of Nineties hip-hop, with an intricately woven body stocking and bondage strap shorts providing a modern take on mummification. A gold and black collection was interspersed with scarab beetle motifs, while Cleopatra herself made another appearance as a dot-matrix print on sweaters, while hoodies, jersey track pants and track tops tapped into a sportswear theme.

Elsewhere, the US Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, descended on the French designer Nicole Farhi's show, while Kate Moss, Kristen Stewart and Romola Garai were all in the front row for the English heritage brand Mulberry at Claridge's. The clothes were in an ice cream parlour palette of peaches and cream, sherbet lemon and soft caramel. Incorporating sportswear touches, a lean silhouette of pleated maxiskirts and slim midi lengths was offset by trapeze line, Sixties sou'wester-inspired jackets.

Canine companions are always a big draw at Mulberry, where the pooches have been known to steal the limelight from the collections. The miniature schnauzer modelling a lifejacket-yellow raincoat had other ideas, though, as he attempted to shake off his outfit during his catwalk promenade.

Another fan of the English seaside was Margaret Howell, a great British proponent of the white shirt, whose poster-paint blue, navy and white collection was emboldened by flashes of raspberry – a thick stripe hemming a navy skirt, polka dots on a white shirtwaister. The crisp lines will please Howell fans who will have their summer workwear wardrobe sewn up thanks to high-waisted, mannish trousers. Richard Nicoll, too, drew inspiration from the Sixties, choosing micro-mini hemlines and collarless tunics. There was also a nod to Nineties minimalism in dove grey, while lingerie details – straps and bra cups – ramped up the drama.

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