Sunday, 18 September 2011

London Fashion Week SS12 - Day One


Inspirations are hedonistic Mediterranean summers and traditional European art and design – a heady mix of sensual and contemporary.

The  Mediterranean inspiration appeared to be of ancient Greece and Rome with the asymmetrical dress and gentle folds skimming the body.  Crepe jersey caressed the body in jewel colours of sapphire blue and citrine yellow, and the metallic platinum.  Whilst chiffon floated gracefully in an air of muted bronze and pink tourmaline. Not a lover of shimmering crepe jersey, the chiffon was more appealing and especially the colour popping paisley pattern. When you think of paisley, you usually conjure up colours of muted green or burgundy. Here Isham has injected his paisley with bright pinks and blues giving an essence of India which is of course where the paisley pattern originated from. The embellishments of gilded gold and platinum around the neckline take inspiration from the delicate craftsmanship of the Rococo period.

Moving away from the fluid jersey fabrics and the floaty chiffons, Isham brings a more modern opulence with the laser cut embossed foiled napa leather dress and skirt.

Not sure I understood the meaning of the veiled headwear and the finale where all the models come out wearing short white dresses and veils. But then sometimes you don’t have to understand to appreciate.


Armstrup’s inspiration centres on hot summer afternoons in New York City and the character of Iris in the 1976’s film ‘Taxi Driver’ – a cool but light hearted woman whose childlike strength of mind is reflected in her wardrobe. 

The colour palette reflects the hot summer with warm bright orange, and sun bleached colours of sandy peach, powder lilac, asphalt blue pairing with cooler whites and navy.

The collection has a mix of masculinity and girliness. Masculinity in the forms of the peach A-line bouclé coat with its lilac suede raglan sleeves and the cropped boucle drainpipe trousers. Girliness with touches of short pleated gym slips over longer skirts and dresses. Loving the silk New York traffic printed shorts.

Finsk has collaborated with Armstrup and used the same colour palette in a collage effect on a fender wedge shoe as a nod to the New York print. 


Inspired by Kensington Palace’s exhibition of the Enchanted Palace and its tale of the seven princesses who once lived there, Mansoor has used only two colours this season: black and shades of pink. The black represents the elements of pain, sadness and unrequited love some of these princesses felt whilst the pink symbolises the love and hope some experienced, with the key inspirations taken from the rebellious Princess Charlotte and Queen Mary II.  

The black gowns are elegantly simple mixing satin silks with chiffon and just a touch of Swarovski embellishment. The pinks have a lighter and carefree look with shades ranging from light petal pink to the deeper fuchsia and the styles and embellishments more ornate.

The whole show was caught in an aura of Royalty, on the catwalk and also on the front row where buyers from the Middle East could be spotted including Her Excellencies of Qatar.

PPQ / Bebaroque

This season saw the collaboration of PPQ and the fashion hosiery brand Bebaroque through their love of prints. 

Bebaroque designed a capsule collection of hosiery and body suits for the collection including a body and leggings decorated with an all over repeat digital print combining leopard print, PPQ brand letters, ropes and tassels.  Also a fully embroidered and embellished body incorporating Bebaroque’s Priscilla print blended with PPQ’s rose imagery. It's hosiery as a work of art.


This season BFC decided to move things around and it’s surprising how these little changes can confuse the brain. Like moving the entrance to the catwalk show space round to the other side, changing the inside catwalk entrance from the left to the right and moving the press lounge outside of the tent and in to Somerset House itself. It’s a bit too much to take in when you’re only half awake.

What didn’t change was Paul Costelloe opening London Fashion Week with his catwalk show.

Inspired by the 1962 movie ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane’ , styles included short baby doll dresses, voluminous skirts, swing jackets, frills and exaggerated puff sleeves. The shape took centre stage as the first outfits were in a neutral palette of white, stone and pale silver grey with plain fabrics ranging from crisp cottons to floaty silks. There were a few little black numbers and a cute humbug stripe sleeveless coat dress.

But it was the men who brought the colour wow back to the show with a stunning raspberry pink long jacket suit and sharp teal blue suit. The girls soon followed suit but with a more toned down palette of coral pinks and pale peppermint green, and the fabrics became more textured with brocade prints.


Inspiration comes from the thirties, jazz age and the French Riviera.

She starts with relaxed wide leg trouser suits in navy, white and mint green. All accessorised with jaunty boater hats. The jackets just finishing above the hip. The boater hat theme continued with navy day dresses in the thirties style of dropped waistlines, pleated and fluted hemlines. Hand drawn designed prints on Como silk followed on blouses, dresses and trousers. Loving the black and white shorts and jacket – very French Riviera.

Black and ivory dominated the eveningwear with sequins and bejewelled embellishments. Worn with an elegant short pendant necklace of jewel clusters on a wide black ribbon.


                                 Images courtesy Chris Dadey

For SS12, Bernard Chandran looks towards the 1950’s glamour that once inspired his mother. The styles are given a contemporary twist with simple sculptural shapes in shimmering gauzy fabric. . Chandran kept the fabrics light and sometimes opaque without being floaty. The show starts with cool muted shades of black, white and silver along with the warmer shade of champagne. Then gives way to the popping bright greens, turquoise, pink and gold.

Zips became decorative pieces and super sized large bags almost dwarf the models.

Lots of shimmer and sparkle in this show but my favourite was the short gauzy champagne shift dress adorned with a long strip of light wispy feathers and matching bag.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

1 comment:

  1. I was there! I got so much frustration with some of the line-up here though, forgive me but I'm not really a fashion freak but I just thought there could have been much flair with the black leggings for that PPQ/Bebaroque girl with a bag.