Harriet Walker works on The Independent's fashion desk.
Another jam-packed day of fashion fun in the capital today, starting with Nicole Farhi whose collection was clean and fresh for autumn, in dark colours, chic neutrals and sumptuous fabrics. Beautiful double-breasted camel coats were belted over shimmering draped jersey dresses.
Next came Antonio Berardi (left) who showed sharp tailored jackets and dresses, with all the sex appeal of a Helmut Newton shoot and echoes of Seventies Yves Saint Laurent. Sheer chiffon pussy-bow blouses and lace-backed (and fronted) peekaboo dresses. It was all a bit much for 11 in the morning.
Christopher Kane's shows are always exciting, because his look changes so massively from season to season. This collection was made up of intricate colourful florals embroidered onto black leather, vinyl, lace and chiffon. It should have been horrible, but it was absolutely stunning. Of course.
Then Roksanda Ilincic (right), whose draped goddess dresses are timelessly elegant as well as effortlessly 'now.' She diversified into wool this season, with lady-like coats, but her signature silk numbers were still there. A perfect pick for any fashion forward red carpet walker.
Erdem (left)was one of the most beautiful shows I have ever witnessed in London. Set against the background of the Senate House, models had to negotiate 30 steep stairs on their circuit - not easy in sinuous floorlength gowns! Several times there looked to be a situation, but they pikced themselves up and carried on. Dresses were digitally printed with swallows and distorted florals, using unusual colour combinations to great effect: deep pinks and greens, blues, yellows, oranges and grey chiffon. Stunning. Watch the show in full on the Independent website from tomorrow.
Marios Schwab's shownotes said that his inspiration had come from being the only boy at fashion school. Sweet. But his collection (right) showed a hard-edged femininity, with modern takes on dirndl skirts and dresses, with laced bodices and fun fur fabrics (supposedly the very same that Stieff teddy bears are made of.)
Rounding off our day, London veteran Paul Smith showed an outdoorsy collection of tweeds, knits and flat caps. Favourite pieces included the digitally printed wellington socks!