London Fashion Week: Report - Friday 20 February



The credit crunch has hit London Fashion Week, and this translates into a combination of no breakfast (was counting on the standard salmon and cream cheese mini-bagels) and the cramming of everything (including runway, exhibitions and lounges) into one tent that conjures the image of a slaughterhouse. Don't judge me for thinking of that - I grew up in the American Midwest.

First of the day was Paul Costelloe (isn't it always?), where gold brocade mixed with '60s silhouettes to the general appeal of the Telegraph's Hilary Alexander and Colin McDowell. The more shocking bit came before the opening show, when British Fashion Council President Harold Tillman announced that London Fashion Week would move from the Natural History Museum to Somerset House next season.

Following was Caroline Charles, always one to work a cutesy-cutesy theme, who somehow combined wheatstalk headwear with a blood-red wedding gown. A bit easier to absord was the Estethica ethical fashion magazine launch, which saw the Noir and Black Noir collections show a YSL/Alexander Wang mash-up to everyone's favourite tune from Hole.

As the day got progressively better (SO many people were still in Manhattan for the last day of New York Fashion Week), Donatella Versace's young favourite Eun Jeong moved from sheer black knickers and capes to Giambatista Valli-inspired tent dresses with lots and lots and lots of bulk.

The extra dose of glamour was her strong point, and got the nod of approval from front-rower Erin O'Connor.

The highlight of my day (despite the fact that my friend Naomi - The Kaiser - would not let me stop for an egg sandwich) happened to be at the Hippodrome in Leicester Square, where Sequin King Ashish brought V.V. Brown and a circus performer swinging from the ceiling to help him spice up his very sparkly line of '80s shock separates.

Not that they needed much of a kickstart, because Mr Gupta showed everything from leopard-print sequined jumpers to American flag-print sequined shorts to pom-pommed sequined cardigans. This, combined with neon-coloured leopard-print tights and zebra-striped platform booties, made a bit of a sensory overload that most people in the audience unabashedly loved.

Almost as much as they loved seeing Tyson Beckford present the Central St Martins show.

After a long day trotting around the city - and parties for photographer Matt Irwin and then Vendome where some flirty dancing fiend pretended to be the editor of the London Paper - it's time to rest up for another four days of fashion.

- Jill Hilbrenner








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