The Fashionistas Flock to Fashion Week Opening


Air-kissing, skinny-jeaned fashion queens, London luvvies, and darlings of the style set have once again invaded the capital to celebrate all things aesthetically-pleasing at London Fashion Week.

THIS season several homegrown names permeate the catwalk: Stella McCartney with her hotly anticipated sports range for Adidas; and award-winning Luella Bartley, who returns with her punk rock signature style after a six-and-a-half year absence.

On Saturday and Sunday fashionistas gathered to toast Champas and scrutinise glad rags at the Natural History Museum where British and international talent was breaking the mould. Paul Costelloe, Caroline Charles, Ben de Lisi and Bora Aksu kicked off the weekend’s events at the British Fashion Council tent, the inauguration of a week of scheduled shows, after-gala parties and cocktail congregations.

Sunday also saw the opening of the Fashion Week Exhibition, which plays host to London’s most creative talents and established businesses. Row upon row of eclectic jewellery designs, soft textiles, and sophisticated accessories lined the halls, including Makepiece’s inspired new autumn knitwear collection.

Makepiece presents a beautifully constructed fluid and feminine eco-woven collection derived from Shetland Island wool and British-born natural yarns from sustainable farming. The result is a stunning collection of ethically designed and locally manufactured products that are both striking and environmentally sound. Other exhibitors include Stephen Jones Millinery, Sara Berman, Allegra Hicks, Nigel Preston and Knight, Ann-Louise Roswald, Osprey, J&M Davidson, and Madeleine Press.

It was a relief to see some meat on the bones of the models at Jasper Conran’s show on Monday, following a ban on those under 16 strutting their stuff. Floating fabrics, metallics, and gold accessories presided with a nod to chav chic à la the hooped earrings beloved by Londoner Lilly Allen.

As one of the UK’s leading fashion designers with a career spanning 20 years, Conran’s signature aesthetic mixes classic British glamour with impeccable quality and risqué barely-there tailoring, which this year has been applied to off-the-shoulder flowing womenswear in autumnal ochres and seasonal favourite electric blue. An exciting start to six days of partying, posing, high-heels, hot-tempers, catwalks and cat fights.

First published on The London Word, September 2007.
© Abbey Stirling