London Fashion Week AW13

Marie Claire South Africa article: London Fashion Week Round-up

Throbbing feet, lack of sleep and a slight cold are a small price to pay for the experience of London Fashion Week AW13. The glitz and glamour of fashion week in one of the world’s biggest capitals truly lived up to its reputation, with an exciting line-up of runway shows and parties combined with celeb run-ins and complimentary pamper treatments.

The AW13 runways were a parade of colours and prints in a range of A-line and pencil skirts, chic dresses, oversized coats, slouchy-sleeved blouses, waistcoats accessorised with belts, collars and headpieces, all soon be mimicked in most high-street stores around the world including in South Africa.

While the designers at LFW may have had different inspirations and different markets in mind, their portrayal of women all had one thing in common: female strength and confidence with an edge.

Here’s the round up of London Fashion Week (LFW) AW13 trends:

BURBERRY: Romance meets futuristic safari

Set against the backdrop of Kensington Gardens, the Burberry Prorsum show, entitled Trench Kisses, was a true depiction of classic romance yet it felt wild and edgy at the same time.

The collection contained a host of printed fabrics including animal prints, creating a safari feel, as well as more romantic love-heart prints on a range of pencil skirts, blouses, fitted dresses and signature trench coats. Accessories included gold metal collars and belts that created a trendy futuristic look.

burberry prorsum womenswear autumn_winter 2013 show finale

The show was filled with a (not surprising) star studded front row including Kate Beckinsale, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Freida Pinto and Rita Ora.

michelle dockery, rosie huntington-whiteley, freida pinto, rita ora and kate beckinsale at the burberry prorsum womenswear autumn winter 2013 show-1PAUL SMITH: The colour of cold

Paul Smith’s runway show took place at the famous Tate Britain and consisted of classic cuts given a contemporary twist by the use of colour-blocking in a palette of autumn colours including fuchsia, cobalt, teal and rust, balanced by navy, white and silver.  Geometric-print fabrics and a digital fabric print of a photograph taken by Paul in Cuba of an ornate chandelier also appear in several of the collection’s pieces.

The range of tailored trousers paired with slouchy blouses and sharply cut collared jackets as well as skirts, shirts and dresses were accessorized with the new range of handbags, including an oversized portfolio clutch.


JOHN ROCHA: Fitting into nature

Chinese designer John Rocha, who is based in Ireland, was inspired by the island’s beautiful landscape for his latest collection, showcased at Somerset House. The palette, including salmon pink, grass green and sunshine yellow, made his collection look like a painting. The dresses were layered with organza to give the A-line skirts volume and the oversized coat and jumpsuits were clearly on trend. However, the use of black and the eccentric veil-like headpieces gave the collection a darker mood.


BORA AKSU & JASPER CONRAN: Going back in time

London-based Turkish fashion designer Bora Aksu’s inspiration might have been the Dolly Sisters in the1920s but the leather tops, lace skirts and flapper dresses were teamed with ties and crocheted headbands, which gave the collection a sci-fi edge.

British fashion designer Jasper Conran’s inspiration for his latest collection was actress Mia Farrow during her peak at fame in the 1960s. The range consists of cloche hats, military trench coats, collared dresses and shirts paired with shorts and box skirts in a variety of colours including purple, black, yellow, pink, orange and red.



Set in the Savoy Hotel ballroom and accompanied by orchestral music, Fyodor Golan’s collection consisted mainly of monochrome gowns, dresses and jackets with flashes of colour and bizarre surprises to keep the viewers’ attention. Designs ranged from a red-carpet-worthy sunset-orange evening gown to a bare mini dress worn by a model wearing a blue floral facemask.

Fyodor Golan 023

UK-born, Canadian-raised designer Jean-Pierre Braganza’s collection looked very much like school geometry. Inspired by sci-fi and fantasy, the designer used colour blocking and prints to highlight the theme. His pieces reflected the new trends of belted waistcoats and wide, short sleeves on shift dresses.

SASS & BIDE: Summer is the new winter

With shorter winters in the Southern part of the world, many designers are turning summer looks into winter ones. Australian designers Sarah Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton from the label Sass & Bide created a collection that looked perfect for summer but was warm enough for winter.

The collection consisted of monochrome mixed with bursts of yellow and metallic in a range of wide-legged tailored trousers, sharply cut blazers, mini dresses and skirts. The fabric prints and elaborate necklines gave the collection a futuristic look.


The British Fashion Council and partners at LFW made sure their guests were taken care of throughout the event.

Shuttle services were available to the different venues every day. Toni and Guy offered free haircuts to VIP guests while M.A.C offered free makeovers.

Fashion Monitor’s Style Lounge, at the Mayfair Hotel, arranged a variety of treatments for LFW guests throughout the weekend, including manicures and pedicures, facials, hair styling and massages.



When the runway shows end, the parties begin.

Friday night: PPQ After Party at the Playboy Club London featuring musician Kate Nash

Saturday night: Rihanna for River Island After Party at the Old Sorting Office

Front-row celebs

Mulberry: Alexa Lana Del Ray

Burberry: Kate Beckinsale, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Freida Pinto and Rita Ora.

Sass and Bide: Pixie Lott

Topshop Unique: Kate Bosworth


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