Flares, capes, maxiskirts – old favourites get a return at London Fashion Week

With as many flared jumpsuits, capes and maxiskirts as a night at Studio 54, it wouldn't take a fashion historian to work out that the Topshop Unique show went back to the Seventies. There was a strong glam-rock and disco feel to the spring/summer 2011 collection, shown on the second day of London Fashion Week yesterday, which evoked a-free spirited party girl – more likely to be in a band herself than a groupie.

There were numerous outfits that were hard to picture anywhere but on a stage, but if you're the kind of young, adventurous dresser to whom the high street megalith caters so well, all the world's a stage – or indeed a catwalk.

Models walked down the Topshop catwalk in the old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo station wearing flared trousers which came in a variety of prints and fabrics, from cut-out red or tan suede to stretch jersey decorated with a wild horse design of the kind you'd find on a particularly kitsch rock album sleeve. These were teamed with cropped scarf tops and high Perspex wedge sandals. The jumpsuits on display rivalled Elvis in his Vegas era for a delicious lack of subtlety, coming in cream with rows of diagonal gold sequins or smoke-print with a cape sleeve. Capes of a more pared-down variety are currently a big trend for autumn/winter, but here the cape had evolved into altogether more glamorous and dramatic piece.

Anyone hoping to hide away in a substantial swimsuit by the pool next summer should look elsewhere, because the Topshop Unique girl will be strutting her stuff in metallic monokinis that leave little to the imagination.

A year round tan and impeccably toned figure will be also be a prerequisite for wearing many of the pieces in the show from Twenty8Twelve (left), Sienna Miller and her sister Savannah's label. As Miller's boyfriend, Jude Law, watched from the front row, models came out in full-skirted mini dresses with layered petticoats in black and denim, cutaway vest dresses in tribal printed jersey, denim micro culottes and lace minidresses, all accessorised with pool shoes with glittery bows.

While the Topshop Unique and Twenty8Twelve shows catered to young, free-spirited hedonists, the show from British designer Betty Jackson had a calmer feel. It took as its core theme the women's Land Army of the 1940s, updated with a modern sportswear edge. Skirts with gathered waists and apron pockets and functional trench-like coats came in thick khaki cotton, shirt dresses and tops came in wet look cottons, and jodhpurs were teamed with very simple white cotton shirts.