Mary Katrantzou, London’s very own queen of prints was easily one of our fashion week highlights. Hosted at Old Billingsgate Market, the catwalk home of Topshop for whom she has just designed a third capsule collection, the show was initially tarred with a 9am start. Luckily the whiff of fresh coffee, miniature bacon sarnies and banana muffins on offer kept a smile on our faces. Alexa Chung was in high spirits too, beaming away from the front row where she sat next to fashion progeny Tallulah Harlech. They were joined by Susie Bubble, Hilary Alexander, Colin McDowell and Anna Wintour, who we all know loves a good print. She should be pleased as punch with this collection- a kaleidoscope of colour and digitally enhanced imagery, including guitars, keyboards, phone dials, white horses, gift boxes, teapots, and even embroidered yellow pencils, featured on Katrantzou’s trademark stiffened and sculpted cocktail dresses, as well as flared trousers and long gowns with slits up the back. Tops were structured and corseted while skirts were lampshade in shape and ruffled and layered which added depth to the prints. Hats off to Katrantzou for providing the proof that prints are here to stay for another season. The designer, who has enchanted both Anna Wintour and Dello Russo with her eccentric and elegant aesthetic certainly gets our approval.
Michael Van Der Ham - another bright spark flies out of Central Saint Martin’s
Judging by the packed venue on Monday afternoon, Michael Van Der Ham has graduated from being the whispered word on fashion insider’s lips to a full-blown sensation. Either that or the Topshop venue’s collaboration with Bistrotheque, meaning that every hungry fashionista can expect a slap-up meal in a paper cup ensured a full front row. Taking inspiration from 1930’s home knits and abstract and marbled prints, Van der Ham showed an eclectic mix of organza draped dressed, boucle jumpers and jacquard separates. The archetypal Van der Ham look of pieced-together, jigsaw-like pieces chimed through the collection, with mixed swatches of fabric and colour. A cool palette of light blues and metallic silvers, with a good splash of sparkle and sequins rubbed shoulders with day dresses of coral and rust. The added fairy dusting of intricate details like crushed organza and pleating made for another stellar collection from the Central St Martin’s alumnus. What do they put in the water there? Daniela Morosini
Unique, Topshop’s high-fashion sister line always draws a big crowd. Today’s presentation at Old Billingsgate was no different with fans of the label, from Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof, Olivia Palermo et al on the front row to brightly dressed fashion students peering down from the standing deck, easily filling up the mammoth show space. We were blessed with a very lucky view indeed - the back of Anna Wintour’s head - and Unique’s autumn/ winter 2012 collection, produced under the creative direction of former Vogue fashion editor Kate Phelan, provided every reason for the bob to nod in approval. As much as we’ve loved the fun and frivolity of previous Unique offerings, whether that’s Dalmatian print coats or antler headgear, this season’s pieces, watched on by Arcadia boss Sir Phillip Green, encapsulated our dream wardrobe. Utilitarian in structure and tone the collection featured lace up ankle boots with fiercely vertiginous heels (props to the models for not taking a topple), khaki floor-length coats, sleeveless biker jackets and leather kilts. But this being Topshop, where there is tough and functional there is pretty and glamorous in equal measure. We squealed with delight at the unveiling of a black velvet boiler suit followed by dungarees, worn with a soft, feminine white blouse. And then there were the final looks – a selection of micro mini dresses which are guaranteed to be on your party wish list next winter.
At London Fashion Week back in February, Topshop Unique’s A/W 11 collection was inspired, in part, by Cruella DeVil - with models playing the part of her 101 Dalmations… Give the appearance of having painstakingly dotted this Autumn’s hottest print on your nails with Unique’s rather pleasing nail stickers, just dropped in store at Topshop Oxford Circus. £7.