Champagne for breakfast, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell sightings, and hiking all over town in five-inch heels...ah, London Fashion Week, we meet again. And while the Big Smoke has been pulling out all the stops for its 25th birthday (just ask Kelly Cutrone), it's really about the fashion, isn't it? (Well, that and the goodie bags.) This weekend was a whirlwind of buzzworthy shows, spotlighting raw talent and designs we'll be more than happy to wear come spring. Check out these four favorites so far...
Design duo Khalid Al-Qasimi and Elliot Frieze delivered a highly covetable balance of the ethereal and the edgy with their Byzantine-inspired Spring 2010 line, transitioning from floaty, tissue-thin chiffon gowns with dramatic slits to cropped, gem-encrusted, armor-esque jackets boasting linebacker shoulders. And don't get us started on the gold metallic minidress—we're still trying to mop up the drool.
The always dependable Nicoll hit a high note this season thanks to a collection that was highly wearable, yet had enough cutting-edge details (fringe galore, layers upon layers of ribbony chevron-shaped fabric) to satisfy fashion insiders. Boasting a muted palette of putty gray, camel, blue, coral, peach and lilac, Nicoll's designs suggested a Tahitian influence by way of sarong skirts and an oversized black floral print stamped on silk jackets and frocks. To the beach!
Fast's insistence on using larger (read: normal-sized) models for his spring runway show, to the dismay of stylists who quit in protest, may have been the talk of the town, but it shouldn't overshadow the designer's fetching collection. Fast's cat's cradle-like knit creations may be form-fitting--not to mention ultra-revealing in some cases--but his attention to detail is hard to pass up. Brilliant berry and turquoise dresses broke up the neutral palette, while cutouts and long layers of beaded chains took the crochet frocks to the next level.
Though it means we'll be nibbling rice cakes and doing stomach crunches for the next few months, Julien Macdonald's body-conscious, scuba-inspired spring collection made a big splash. Everything was designed to put the body on full display, from ultra-tight minidresses to sheer panels to shark tooth-like cutouts snaking down black leggings. Our favorites of the bunch: webby, woven minidresses and glossy trenches boasting structured sleeves.