LFW AW12: Day 1 Round-Up – The Fashion Fringe Takeover

I am a little bit behind on my London Fashion Week reports, I blame my freelance commitments *which pay the bills*, so I thought it would be best to do round-ups of each day alongside reviews of my favourite shows. I always get excited about Day 1, it may not have the big hitters, but each season I have a packed schedule and it is always fun catching up with friends, watching the madness that is Somerset House, which seemed even crazier this year as the street-style snappers have quadrupled, and I get to see my one of my favourite designers, Corrie Nielsen.

First show was Antoni & Alison, marking their return to the catwalk and celebrating their 25th anniversary, it certainly woke me up with the music blaring and the very quirky announcer introduction of the brand. The collection itself, Models Walking Up and Down in Dresses, was simply just that streams of simply cut dresses, featuring eccentric prints such as brown paper bags, cellophane, feathers, glitter and sequins. This was definitely a different start to LFW than the usual Paul Costelloe that used to have this spot on the schedule, I have to admit I didn’t love it all, it did seem to go on forever, but what I did like was how all the models all sported short dark crops, and my favourite look has to be the slip-on tuxedo maxi dress, complete with a felt-tip bowtie and sew-on lapels – cute.

Next up was Corrie Nielsen, I know I have already written up my review of this gorgeous regal couture collection, but this was my first front row of the season, and what was special about it was the discovery of the very high-tech gear under the seat from Vodafone to recharge mobile devices. I know it was only the start of the day but it was fun charging up my phone.

I also bumped in my friend Fiona Fletcher, make-up/stylist extraordinaire, who brought her gorgeous poodle puppy, Tallulah – seriously cute, and totally makes me want a doggie.

Next up was Fashion Fringe 2011 winner’s Fyodor Golan and what a treat it was, not only was the collection amazing crazy couture genius but it was also my first show in LFW’s new showspace in the Embankment Gallery, which has a lovely long runway but a great intimate space.

Back to the main tent and it was the return of the Bora Aksu model army, which is always one of the best finales of any show. For autumn/winter 2012, the Turkish-born designer was inspired by Henry Darger’s pictures of The Vivian Girls in The Realms of the Unreal, which translated into a girlie-yet-dark romantic vision in a gorgeous colour palette of light shades of pink, peach, grey and burnt orange, as well as some exquisite prints, the designer’s first major foray and what a success.

I loved everything about this highly technical collection from the colours to the billowing babydoll silhouettes, striking cape jackets, fitted pencil skirts, and lots of bows and floral touches. This is one gorgeous range of clothes that I can’t wait to see up close at press days, also if there is one more show that features ‘face lace’ as seen also at Corrie Nielsen that I am going to call it a trend.

Then I went to the Savoy Hotel for Maria Grachvogel’s autumn/winter show, which is one of the most gorgeous locations – the ballroom has lots of beautiful chandeliers and suited the line’s Twenties meets modern-day free-spirited jazz girl perfectly. As always Maria delivered a glamorous line of floor-sweeping red carpet worthy gowns in jewelled shades with her signature draping detail. But there were also great tailored separates and outerwear, with her magic pants appearing in a cropped, cigarette leg and masculine slacks in wool tweed, but my favourite pieces had to be the cocoon jackets.

Back to the Embankment Gallery for Jean-Pierre Braganza’s ‘Chandelierium’ collection, which complete grabbed my attention with the gorgeous chandelier print on the invite. However, I had to wait until towards the end of the show for the chandeliers prints in violets and reds, which were striking on silk floor-skimming gowns, and it was a colourful end to a collection that was mainly black, grey and purple.

My second to last show was at the new Beautiful City venue for print masters Basso & Brooke, which was a gorgeous explosion of colour and clashing patterns in oversized jackets, tailored pants, and long-sleeve and sack-style dresses. The former Fashion Fringe winner’s also took their first steps into knitwear, and also showed off their new collaboration with the Cambridge Satchel Company, think the classic satchels with the duo’s striking prints – they looked amazing and I so want one!!!

My day ended with another former Fashion Fringe winner and possible one of my favourite labels for their understated luxury, Jena.Theo. Entitled Heavy Metal, the collection had a simplicity about it with silk chiffon shirts and printed evening dresses, and skinny jeans in varying washed-out greys, deep blacks and bleached blue washes. But as always their collection was full of their signature oversized, draped look, which still carries a very feminine feel about it. I loved all the leather detailing, the fringing, and I totally need a silk slouchy tee and this leather jacket below – gorgeous.

[All pics mine except Antoni & Alison from Style.com]