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If you hadn’t heard about the latest round of Lehman Brothers bank layoffs in London or the seven-year low on Wall Street, and you watched Monday’s London Fashion Week runway shows, then you might just think it was a time of excess.

Seeing model Erin O’Connor sashay down the catwalk wearing a bustled dress and bejewelled headdress hardly screams, “I’ve just been made redundant,” but Qasimi designers H H Khalid bin Sultuan Al Qasimi and Elliott J Frieze found it a fitting conclusion to the runway show they staged in a marble-floored church. This also being the show that began with a vigorously dancing duo rocking out with their golden electric violins. Some of Qasimi’s short suits – made for men and women – included jodhpur trousers, and one menswear look brought leather shorts.

London fashion Week September 2008: Picture Slideshow

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Elsewhere at fashion week, Marios Schwab seemed to honour scrimpers a bit with printed t-shirts, but Luella put together pink, violet and orange so that ruffled and tiered dresses (yes, there was lace involved) could brighten the credit-crunch mood. Maybe the best way to pretend times are better is to pretend you’re living in the ’60s and married to JFK. Or at least that you’re Carla Bruni and have a nice pillbox.

Maybe the only place the fashion week bosses are making cuts is on the after-party allowance. At the On/Off 10th anniversary party, about 150 guests were sent home early to allow more room for the pap-favourites. Who knew Rhys Ifans and The Peth could be such a draw? Check LondonNet’s style blog for more later.

– Jill Hilbrenner