Saturday, 21 May 2011

LFW Day 2/3: John Rocha, Nicole Farhi, Topshop Unique and Westwood

I think it's fair to say that most of the audience at Rocha's A/W 11/12 show on Saturday were so glued to the oversize elaborately constructed headpieces on display, that we almost forgot to the look at the clothes!
With a colour palette of black, dark grey, rose, milky white and butterscotch, along with a splash of stitched crimson and gold, Rocha's collection paid homage to the art of textured handcrafting - with wooly cardi-jackets, crochet hats (which took almost two weeks to make) and an array of fabrics including pressed wool, ponyskin, alpaca, appliquéd lace, shearling and beautiful sheer silks. Rocha's signature detail was clear in the edges - which were shredded, tufted or looped to create an exaggerated texture.
Key pieces included a fur jacket with a red accent which was teamed with a cream silk georgette top with a raw hemline; an asymmetric silk underskirt in cream with eye catching splashes of crimson; overcoat dresses, sheer black trousers teamed with black underwear, and a stand-out red trench coat (they won't miss you at the bus-stop in that).
Menswear included a tight-fitting suit with a fur collar and tailored overcoats in place of suit jackets.
But my personal 'show moment', was when mod-of-the-moment Abbey LeeKershaw appeared in an oversize three-dimensional black knit cardi, with fur collar and metallic, buckle-over platform boots which are SO going to be on every fashionista's must-have list for next season!
Nicole Farhi’s A/W 11/12 collection at the Royal Opera House, was set to a mainly monochrome colour palette except for the odd shocking shot of coral red or muted burgundy, in a collection which was made up of feminine shapes contrasting against masculine tailoring such as fitted jackets and satin cummerbunds - right through to luxe bias-cut evening gowns. Oh, and ponyskin - lots of it!
Seems leather is out for next season as ponyskin reigns on the catwalks, with Farhi using the tactile fabric in jackets, coats and in panelling on sheath dresses. I loved the pleated open back dress with white tights and ankle boots, and bringing 70s shaping back, there were high-waisted wide-leg trousers in ecru moleskin. Detailing included tightly packed jewels on the arms of dresses and exposed zips.
It was an elegant, chic and sassy collection and it even drew London Fashion Week's first sighting of poker face herself - Anna Wintour - who turned up on the frow wearing a brightly coloured banana print outfit by Prada. Huzzah, Cruella's here!
Wuff! It was 101 dalmatians meets old style americana at Topshop Unique's collection, with white and black-spotted-print faux fur coats, stoles with stuffed toy heads (so cute!) and motif T-Shirts. Moving on from the fun stuff, the collection also featured deco print long dresses, jackets that were shrunk, pretty tea dresses - and perfect for that night out at the cocktail bar....devore minis and sexy cut-out maxis. The show also featured a bass heavy backing track and few hippy chick slebs on the frow (Alexa Chung and Pixie Geldof...natch!)....and the return of La Wintour, this time sitting next to Topshop boss Philip Green...move over Simon Cowell, Big Phil's got a new BF in town.
Think "Alice in Wonderland" meets the Royal Family and you'll be peering through the right looking glass for Vivienne Westwood's A/W 11/12 Red Label show at the atmospheric Royal Court of Justice last night.  Drawing inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s nutty queens (no disrespect to our Lizzie), there was full-on mad make-up as models faces were spray-painted gold, red, white and blue - and hair was constructed into crazy crowns, bonkers bouffants and Princess Margaret style candy floss-like barnets with the rollers left in.
The dishevelled regal look was played out throughout the collection, in fabulously quirky designs which included tartan skirts worn with striped shirts and baggy boyfriend cardis, kilts-come-skirts, pinstripe suits, crooked ties, patchwork jackets and tailored shorts teamed with a leopard print coat. Stand-out pieces included the faux fur leggings and the oversize, elaborately coloured multi-coloured feather cape.
The show drew all the slebs out on to the frow, including Dr Who's Matt Smith, Girls Aloud's Nicola Roberts and a newly brunette Sarah HardingBoris BeckerPaloma FaithBoy George, Tracey Emin and Jo Wood - Daisy Lowe also appeared on the catwalk as she did last season for Westwood.
Oh, and answering to the recent gossip that she may be retiring from fashion and her sign-off will be designing royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton's wedding dress, here's what Vivienne thinks to that: "I would have loved to have dressed Kate Middleton but I have to wait until she kind of catches up a bit somewhere with style. Sorry. I'm not going to say any more, that's it. When people ask me where she's going to get the dress from - she's definitely not going to get it from me, or I would have heard."
As Alice would say, curiouser and curiouser!


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