The newly reopened Savoy hotel was the perfect backdrop for Maria Grachvogel's fall collection. As always, the Grachvogel woman subtly exuded power and commanded the room. The strength of the brand is always the ease in which the pieces are worn. You can throw on any of the printed dresses or draped styles without needing much else.
Season after season, lace crops up, but it's not often that it's shown in an interesting way. However, that's exactly what the designer offered us. Single-breasted black blazers were styled over lace tops (showing off a bit of skin) teamed with Grachvogel's much-celebrated nude miracle trousers and elegant statement necklaces; it also appeared on the sleeves on a black all-in-one.
Daniella Issa Halayel has everything to smile about. Since Kate Middleton chose to wear the brand in her official engagement pictures, the world wanted to know what she was wearing and more importantly, who designed it. The past few months have been filled with speculation as to who will design Middleton's wedding dress, and if recent reports are anything to go by, Halayel is definitely a front runner.
Coming upon the brand's 10th anniversary, no expense was spared for Issa's Fall 2011 collection today. The brand bagged the forever youthful Andrea Dellal to open the show in a classic maxi dress in bright red, and Yasmin Le Bon hit the runway, too - firstly in a brown wrap top teamed with a black skirt with a red, white and green print and later in a floaty, sheer maxi.
Despite the strong front row and model line-up, the collection was disappointing. Maxi dresses came covered in a graphic print and suede taupe gloves that didn't work so well. The strongest pieces in the collection were the simple, classic looks, like a black halter-neck gown with a high slit.
Betty Jackson and Lucy Ewing are the perfect duo. The stylist understands the Jackson woman so well and never puts a foot wrong - and the show is always well edited, creating a strong message for the season. That's exactly what Jackson delivered this morning.
Like many other designers this season, the designer showed a lot of colour. Tomato red appeared on thick red maxi dresses teamed with white tights and Mary Janes, and also on boiled wool coats and jackets. Wide-leg trousers teamed with thick jumpers also came in varying shades of red, as did some leather looks featuring single-breasted leather jackets with cropped wide-leg trousers. As the collection progressed, red continued to appear, but on lighter fabrics. A long, floaty maxi dress with simple spaghetti straps came with large but subtle floral prints teamed with chunky heels. It wasn't all about red, though. Towards the end, black appeared on sheer dresses with pink embroidered flowers styled with skinny silver belts.
We've all grown to love and anticipate Bora Aksu's signature mixed-texture dresses. Last season was strong, with Aksu really playing with interesting fabrics and techniques - so with that in mind, yesterday's collection was already on an uphill battle trying to compete with his spring/summer offerings.
For fall, the dresses came predominantly in metallic silver, with sheer black panels across the bust plus his traditional paneling, and in some instances he layered a leather body over dresses teamed with statement razzle-dazzle bow ties. All that said, the collection did have its strong points. Rather than relying on these successful pieces, Aksu explored with knitwear, showing a beautiful sleeveless, chunky knit dress in grey with what looked like a black and silver brocade underlay with a fishtail train at the bottom.
It was all about prints at Aminaka Wilmont. This season, digital prints - inspired by animal hides, skins and furs - made a strong appearance throughout. Simple dresses were given an edge, teamed with leather over-the-knee boots. The print also appeared on tops teamed with woolen high-waisted, over-the-knee trousers and on tops with voluminous sleeves teamed with a black skirt with a high slit at the back.
The prints were paired with leather shorts and boots and waterfall, asymmetric jackets. Simple black blazers were given leather sleeves and fur accents running down the lapels - teamed with the graphic-printed trousers in white and purple.
It couldn't be the start of London Fashion Week without Paul Costelloe to kick start the week's festivities. For Fall, Costelloe got a lot more experimental than we've seen from him in past seasons.
Like we saw in New York, instead of sticking with black and navy blue and traditionally autumnal colours, he showed checked and tartans in green and purple on coats, tights came in block colours like green or red and towards the end of the show came a selection of 60s babydoll dresses in bright pink and blue respectively. Mens cords came in bright orange teamed with boat shoes and tweed blazers.
You can always rely on Amy Molyneaux and Percy Parker to put on a show. At the Elle Style Awards on Monday, Parker told me there would be a lot to look forward to in the brand's fall show, and he wasn't wrong.
First thing's first: the show officially had the best soundtrack we've heard in a long time. The first model stepped out on to the runway in black mini dress walking to Nicki Minaj's 'Dungeon Dragaon', which later turned into Lil' Kim's 'Lighter's Up' and other songs by Notorious BIG and Busta Rhymes. The collection mainly consisted of short off-the-shoulder LBDs with cutouts on the back. The colour palette was predominantly dark, coming in blacks and greys on knitted halter-neck dresses, but the duo did introduce some colour at the start of the show with a handful of purple looks to break it up. The standout look was a pair of black cigarette pants teamed with a Victorian blouse with huge accentuated shoulders.