DAKS took its spring–summer 2012 inspiration from the 1950s, with classic lines, a simple colour palette, and ﬂowing, wearable lightweight dresses with voluminous skirts. The cuts and volume certainly tended to be on the money as far as trends go for spring—making you want the season to be here immediately.
Husband-and-wife team Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro showed shirt dresses, silk dresses, cashmere knits, and slim trousers, distinguishing the Clements Ribeiro spring–summer 2012 collection with their clever prints.
Ashish also had a ﬂoral theme, though the colours were far brighter and the printed ﬂowers more exaggerated—to wonderful effect. The Van Gogh-style ﬂowers and zebra prints gave Ashish’s collection a more youthful, energetic feel.
Julien Macdonald, always one to watch, did not disappoint with spectacle: his military-inspired collection saw models don dominatrix-style leather biker dresses and army caps, but this was tempered with Chinese Ming and Japanese tattoo prints. Unsurprisingly, Macdonald managed to attract celebrity guests including Eliza Doolittle, Alesha Dixon, Bianca Jagger and Lorraine Kelly.
Jasper Conran reminded us just why his designs work: they are deceptively simple but a great deal of thought had been put in. Colour blocking, sharp lines, A-line dresses and cute box bags make for a sexy spring–summer.
Spanish designer Emilio de la Morena used sheer fabrics, cut-outs and panelling, with peacock blues, yellows and lilacs to lift the mood in springtime.
Jaeger’s spring–summer 2012 collection was inspired by the jet-set of the 1960s and 1970s, according to design director Stuart Stockdale. Stripes were on display—this is deﬁnitely a spring trend at London Fashion Week—on tops, sundresses and trouser suits; polka dots and paisley prints also emerged in a funky, sunny collection.
House of Holland’s colours were more subdued, tempering the bright shades with grey and brown. The animal prints were fun, with leopards and cows suggested this season, though with all the bright colours we had been exposed to in other collections, you almost wished that things weren’t so muted. However, if the colours prove too much, and subtlety is preferred—as it will be for many customers—then Holland may be the place to go.
J. W. Anderson branched out from menswear into a women’s collection for spring–summer 2012, with a meticulously designed range that takes his clever tailoring techniques and reinvents them. Suits, patchwork dresses, and knit dresses showed that Anderson has what it takes in this market.
John Rocha understands theatre, with a collection that blended feathers and wool with leather and silk, with his mythical warriors seemingly venturing from storybooks. A variety of techniques was used including pleating and crocheting, all of which created a spectacular collection united not only by the look, but the complexity of the fabrications.
Issa, one of the Duchess of Cambridge’s favourite labels, took a Rio inspiration, re-creating the colour of Brazil and channelling the spirit of Carnaval. We saw bright blues and yellows here, too, complemented by an apple green, and prints featuring stripes and plant life. Issa also showed shorts, sundresses and sweaters.
Jonathan Saunders aimed for lighter shades of pink, green, orange, and peach, and we were impressed with the ﬁnish and cut on his designs. This is one of the most wearable collections at Fashion Week so far, and we suspect Saunders will have no trouble shifting his spring–summer ’12 range.
Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label show at Smithﬁelds Market managed to draw in the celebrities (including Tracey Emin, Eliza Doolittle, Kelis, Pamela Anderson, Jaquetta Wheeler, and Paloma Faith) guaranteeing her coverage, though the collection itself stood up on its own merits. Inspired by Degas, Westwood combined the shades one sees in the artist’s impressionist work with metallic fabrics. A hint of retro-futurism emerged, thanks to the shoes and the headgear that brought a sense of 1960s’ space-age optimism to proceedings. Well cut dresses and suiting mean a wearable spring–summer 2012 for the brand.
The ﬁnal videos are from Fashion Fringe, Dominic Jones, Sister by Sibling, and Headonism, the celebration of London millinery hosted by the British Fashion Council, followed by a highlight reel from day two.
Emilio de la Morena
House of Holland
J. W. Anderson Women
Vivienne Westwood Red Label
Sister by Sibling
Day two highlights