Block stripes were adding to skirts and dresses in the form of sheer panelling, giving designs a more sexy and modern feel. Alce Temperley said with this collection she wanted to "maintain a balance between refined elegance and modernity" and we think she has nailed it!
Simone Rocha's SS13 offering was in the designer's own words: "a reflection on youth, in all its purity and unruliness". Fashion-wise, this translated to school uniform inspired skirt suits and dresses in lace, leather, crochet and broderie anglaise.
The colour palette was largely whites and creams (HUGE for SS13), although there was the occasional injection of fluoro yellow and orange in the form of a couple of overblown daisy crochet skirt suits and dresses, and the mix of textures at play kept the subtle colour palette exciting. Simone Rocha really is one to watch - and if you don't believe us, the presence of one Alexa Chung on the FROW should confirm it!
Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff dubbed this theatrical collection 'A Cautionary Tale'. Reminiscent of Marie Antoinette, this was a decadent collection filled with corsetry, bows and ruffles (and models quite literally eating cake!) Flouncing dresses had layered up skirts and visible garters a la Moulin Rouge, whilst fitted jackets had puffed-up shoulders and peplums.
Old silhouettes were tweaked to bring them into the now, with playsuits coming down to the knee and biker jackets gone oversized. The jackets were a huge success in the collection - we fell in love with the peach leather jack (left)! Overall, a tailored and fun offering, proving that there's way more to Mulbs than those amazing bags...
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD RED LABEL
Seventies glamour and almost trashy shapes made for a disco inspired show - the finged cape/scarf hybrid was an early highlight (perfect for festival season next summer!) and the bodycon shapes and sheer details made it all a bit risque - but the candy coloured hues kept it the right side of girlie.
Laser cut leather, sheer bodices, and patent made this collection pretty sexy - which is nothing new for Gies, but he also flipped this around with white high neck dresses with wild horse print, gold brocade and embellishment like exploding fireworks - an eclectic collection which will continue to have his fans queuing round the block.
Bold, block colours in a palette of green, black, blue and orange and imaginative cut-outs were peppered throughout the collection. He's left the silver metal discs and embellishment behind and instead we have more accomplished, modern shapes and flattering drop waists.
There was a touch of horror injected into Christopher Kane's latest collection, with Frankenstein appearing on a couple of tees and pretty organza dresses toughened up with what looked like gaffer tape, lending the whole show the trademark Kane edge. However, sugary pastel colours and feminine shapes were out in force, with lacework and sheer panels and pure white ensembles - we're specificallly loving the quilted biker jacket.
Clever shapes and strategic slits made this tailored collection extra chic - the blotchy checks in lime green, neon orange, grey and sky blue looked great on loose shift dresses and the early all white outfits were impactful. Cut out darts on necklines and cheekly splits kept the show youthful, and the billowing high-low skirts on some of the later looks are bound to inspire high street versions.
Fresh off the back of her Topshop collaboration, Louise's SS13 catwalk show was equally as madcap - clashing dots, stripes and geometric prints all jostled together as loose shorts, boxy jackets, knee length dresses with narrow waists and bra tops layered over sheer t-shirts made for her bonkers, but someone connected collection. There are individual pieces here that we reckon you'll be lusting after.
As you'd expect, the trench coat was the headline act at Burberry and Christopher Bailey had gone mad with it - metallic leather, miniscule crops, balloon sleeves and exaggerated shoulders transformed the basic mac into a thing of beauty. These were teamed with pencil skirts, micro shorts and lace - it was traditional meets rave!
The designer worked with a Swiss embroidery company on this collection, and after searching through their archives was influenced to create the shapes of the gorgeous dresses - all 1950s shapes with nipped in waists and skirts that hit just below the knee. Bright florals on white and slashes of snakeskin with mesh panels, one shoulders and halternecks.
This season, Mary's signature prints were based on stamps and banknotes, and as usual she created a collection that will see stores selling out - a fact she may have alluded to when cash registers rang out during the show!
This season however, the shapes and design matched the prints in terms of maturity and confidence - flared dresses, quirky necklines, boxy sleeves and sharp jackets all had Mary's magic touch on them - expect to see A listers clamouring to wear her designs on the red carpet next season.
Graphic prints abounded at the PP show, as you'd expect, but this was a continued assault on the senses - black and white mixed with lime green and tomato red were key tones, but pretty much every other colour under the sun was in existence through the collection of dresses (and five pairs of trousers) on show. Not many would be brave enough to wear the brand top to toe, but even one item from them would be enough to reinvigorate your wardrobe completely.
We were excited about this show before it even began as Anna Dello Russo took the seat in front of us! From the first look, we were hooked on the swinging tassled heels and fringing on the warrior-like ensembles that marched past us. The whole show was a mix of tribal, traveller and mythical warrior princess, in a colour palette of black, maroon, nude and blue - but a highlight for us was the pleated burnt orange dress; if only we had an occasion to wear it! The hexagonal print which appeared on knits and dresses was apparently inspired by bees honeycomb - bees are a strong motif for Schwab and a link to his Greek heritage.
The Unique show learned from the incredible response to it's AW12 collection and kept it simple, but desirable. The colour palette was mainly monochrome, but with sunshine yellow peppered throughout, whether as a block colour blazer or as part of a print, although a few pieces of nude and silver added interest to the show. Laid back, oversize and chic, we predict another sell out for this Unique show.
Blocks, lines and fragments of shapes made up the Paul Smith collection, in a colour palette of dark red, mustard, black and white - bringing a slightly darker but more modern feel to Spring/Summer. Tailored two-tone trousers, lightweight loose dresses, and shorts with floral print made for a more masculine, but very wearable collection.
There was a real 'fashion meets music ' moment at the Acne show, and Acne designer Jonny Johansson was apparently inspired by Emmylou Harris' plaintive cover of "Wrecking Ball". This collection was a lot more deconstructed and undone than previous shows, with oversize skirts, raw hems, flared cuffs and stripes, but all with a touch edge.
However, as a contrast to this raw feel, the Acne girl as we knew her - all tough and wearing leather is still in existence, rocking skinny trousers, including something for everyone this season.
HOUSE OF HOLLAND
The quirky fashion designer/TV presenter was banck with a back this season, with a 90s soundtrack and an updated take on that era's grunge scene - but this time in hypercolour. Checks in mustard and purple, multicoloured paint splatters and tie dye adorned models in pinafores, crop tops, biker jackets and midi dresses. And we want it all.
This season, among a sea of young, hot and quirky designers, John Rocha gave a masterclass in how designing can still be done. Intricately detailed flared prom dresses with layered tullegave way to double layered sheer skirts and all the models wore huge, squashed organza hats shaped like flowers, giving a slightly more disturbed feel - but in beautiful colours of pale pink and pastel yellow - absolutely stunning.
Known for his bright, boho and embellished party dresses, Williamson is a designer who knows his audience and client base - and he gives them what they want. This collection, entitled Electric Angels, was inspired by India, and the detailed embroidery and metallic embellishment proved it.
Pronts also looked like nature had been an influence, with layered sunset colours and aztec designs, but his signature block coloured , swirling dresses were still around - which will make his fans very happy.
The designer described this collection as one of the hardest he'd ever donwm and it showed in the myriad of fabrics and pirnting techniques used. Saunders proved that he's adept at staying ahead of the curve, with graphic looks and with strong fabrics although the collection seemed to be split in half, literally, with each ensemble having a front which totally contrasted with the back. There are some really strong pieces here, that we can see selling out come SS13.
MOSCHINO CHEAP & CHIC
Known for her graphic prints and bold shapes, Holly Fulton made yet another collection that we're all lusting after. Cute trouser and skirt suits with maximum embellishment, and layering pieces of varying sizes of print were an assault of the senses - but one that we welcomed. We're coveting the trousers of this look - and most of every other look too. Holly's star continues to shine...
You always expect the Fashion East show to be grungy, cool and urban - and this season did not disappoint. Mixed up prints of floral and leopard jostled next to safari-feel tunics and draped trnech coat - paving the way foreven edgier outfits; one shoulder dresses and tops with metallic leather inserts and graffiti logos - this is what we envisage the cool kids wearing next Summer.
Aqua metallic leather dresses, white crop tops and slouchy jackets and dreses made up the SS13 Zoe Jordan show, peppered throughout with cute tees and zigzag chiffon fabric and caps giving the collection a sporty vibe... we're marking this designer as one to watch!
JEAN PIERRE BRAGANZA
This show blew us away - it's rare to see a show where you can see yourslef wearing almost every look top to toe, but JPB pulled it off - big time. Cool, graphic print was sliced trhough dresses and trousers, rocked up with sleeveless leather biker jackets in black & white and palest blue (we want both!), sharp tailored suits and boxy, almost futuristic dresses. A absolute hot, and one of Company's fave shows.
The Clements show was in the gorgeous My Beautiful Fashion showspace - and it WAS beautiful. Monochrome dresses and two pieces were peppered with neon blue lace, and bold pink and green florals echoed the deisgn of the invitation on trouswer suits. Not quite as young and sassy as other shows, but more elegant and timeless.
SASS & BIDE
This pair of designers showed another collection of sure fire hits. Building on the neon pops from previous collections, there was a palette of black, cream, sliver and fluro orange, on maxi dresses and skirt with several large slits to create loads of movement, and origami-style pleats were a recuring theme throughout the show. Our favourite look however was a cut-out brocade short suit - perfect as an alternative to chic summer dresses.
FELDER + FELDER
The design duo kept the collection quite simple, with flowing chiffon dresses and skirts in colourful leopard print, slouchy trouser suits in nude tones, tropical trouser suits and a couple of show stopper dresses - all easy to wear and perfect for breezy summer dressing.
The PPQ show is always a bit wild - and this season it didn't disappoint. Gorgeous prints (a sotof paisley meets traveller vibe) coveerd dresses, blouses and trousers, which gradually mixed up into stripes - and the show ended with red carpdet worthy dresses in block colours - there was definitely something for everyone in this quirky show.
Lightweight chiffon, in clever pleats and gorgeous cape back made up the Bora Aksu collection. The colour palette was the whole spectrum of blue, from navy to bluebell - blue motifs even adorned the nude tights (a K-Middy influence perhaps?.
The introduction of mustard tones kept the look moe edgy, but if you're after beautifully draped, light as a feather fabric, then this was the show for you.
ANOTONI & ALISON
This design duo, whose trademark piece is a dress, kept to their legacy - but with an incredible update! If you like embeliishment, over the top colours and jewels, then their SS13 show is going to be your idea of heaven!
Bold, bright block colours on dresses which varied from knee length to maxi to midi, in sunset hues of orange, pink and yellow, all with artistic swirls and uneven patterns - feels very much like what we want to be wearing next season.