London Fashion Week might have been criticised for a lack of healthy role models but there were plenty of athletic bodies at Stella McCartney's show of sportswear for Adidas which opened yesterday's proceedings.
The models, who included British Olympic athletes, with medal winners Victoria Pendleton, the British sprinter, and Allyson Felix, the US sprinter, also at the event, wore her designs while trampolining, running and performing gymnastics rather then strutting down a catwalk.
McCartney shows her label in Paris. The sports range presented in London included futuristic green running tops, dancewear influenced by the loose tops and layering of the 1980s, and geometric patterned swimwear.
If McCartney's outing had a mass market audience in mind, the same can not be said of Christopher Kane's collection, shown later in the day. Kane is among London Fashion Week's rising stars, feted for both his innovative vision and the technical virtuosity involved in its execution. For summer, Kane proposes the fashion elite, who lap up his designs, wear leather skirts covered in cut-out discs of the same fabric in shades of leaf green and orange. These he teamed with leopard-print knits in similarly tropical shades. Kane expanded on key motifs from his collection last season. Large round sequins became circles in organza and leather, either layered and covering the whole surface of a garment or tracing its seams. The Jungle Book soundtrack underlined the animal theme, which was given its most playful expression in the form of two prim dresses decorated with illustrations of gorillas.
The animal kingdom also inspires designer Emma Cook, and this collection was no exception. She showed dresses decorated with photographic prints of giraffes, zebras and lions and a handbag in the shape of a swan. Worked in with these were Art Deco motifs, tiered ruffles and beaded fringing on flapper dresses, worn with clear plastic trenches and capes studded with crystals.
London Fashion Week might be known as the home of daring statements and youthful experimentation, but this city's established designers deliver when it comes to pretty, accessible clothes. With this in mind, summer dresses provided the mainstay of Nicole Farhi's collection – they came in a variety of watercolour prints. These are clothes for women who like their wardrobe to be decorative and intelligent but not aggressively conceptual. The main silhouette came from the 1950s with full skirted prom dresses.