Thursday, March 27, 2008

London Fashion Week S/S 08

Saying that London has a little Fashion Week is like saying Britain is a small country: What it lacks in actual size, it makes up for in power. How else can you explain the appearance of Kate Moss, the return of Matthew Williamson, and the recurring front row seat of Anna Wintour, all in five days?

Our must-discuss moments of the week are below…

The Front Row at Allegra Hicks
Some catwalks in New York are billed as "socialite shows," but Allegra's front row lineup beat them all. India Hicks, Rufus Abermarle and his wife Sally, Lulu Guinness and her daughter Madeleine, and Sophie Fiennes all took their place out front, as breezy chiffon gowns based on Botticelli paintings floated by. Don't think they won't appear in Tatler next year!

Luella Bartley's Homecoming Dance
It's only fitting that London's party dress queen gets a big bash after her fashion show, especially if it's her first UK runway in years. Luella's late-night bash at Claridge's didn't disappoint, with Poppy Delevigne, Peaches Geldof, Erin O'Conner, and Kelly Osbourne swinging into the hotel for a dance.

Christopher Kane's Denim Corset
How do you follow up pleated leather dresses? With denim corsets and tailored snake-print chiffon, of course. That was the menu for Christopher Kane's latest collection, but even more impressive – a big chunk of the clothes had been made just days before the show, after pieces from Kane's studio were stolen in a robbery!

Prince at Matthew Williamson
The lights dimmed, and suddenly a spotlight: We all saw Prince, smack in the middle of the front row, strutting from the audience up to the runway. A microphone appeared, backup singers emerged, and voila: a secret performance of "Chelsea Girl" was taking place, and only the London fashion pack got to see. Considering the show was held at 11 am, it was the wakeup call everyone needed – including the models, who mouthed Prince lyrics during the show!

Gareth Pugh's Balloon Pop
Editors were scared out of their seats on Sunday night, as fashion trickster Gareth Pugh began his show with a bang – literally. He popped a giant balloon filled with glitter onstage, causing everyone to jump before settling in for a blackly beautiful collection of sheath dresses and silver capes. There were still the usual theatrics – a mink stole sewn to look like dead mice, giant tribal headdresses – but unlike past Pugh performances, you could actually wear things from this collection.

The ISSA Acrobat
After a series of pretty capes and caftans, ISSA's real spectacle began on the catwalk: an acrobat walked onto the runway wearing the label's trademark butterfly print, and quickly swung and twirled herself into a trapeze act. The audience gasped, but we weren't surprised – what's London Fashion Week without some over-the-top magic?

— Faran Krentcil

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