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London Fashion Week: Metal and Lace

London Fashion Week commenced with a vigorous itinerary of 59 shows—not to mention all the noteworthy catwalk presentations that ran off-schedule. From rising star Mary Katrantzou (whose range for Topshop launched over LFW) to British mega house Mulberry, London Fashion Week’s packed roster has already yielded two very exciting trends for a/w ’12: metallic hues and gentle lace.

Whether it’s gold, bronze or silver, London designers explored metal alloys as the color of the season. Young Danish designer Louise Amstrup presented a refreshingly modern, feminine collection with strong block panels in rose gold leather that subtly fit into the trend. Maria Grachvogel continued on with the ‘20s theme that emerged in New York, creating drop waist Simone Rochajumpsuits and backless frocks in metallic gold lamé. Classic designer Jasper Conran impressed audiences with his head-to-toe gold sequined cocktail dress and nude cashmere coat lined in matching shimmering embellishment. At Alice Temperley, shiny bronze knits and copper suits in soft prints referenced Slavic folklore and religious paintings from the 18th century. Folkloric impressions also made their way into Clements Ribeiro’s burnt gold-silver brocade knee-length skirts.

London’s designers shared equal enthusiasm for lace, combining the delicately netted material with notably denser fabric, which proved to be a winning look for a/w ’12. Former BFC/Elle Talent Launch Pad winner Zoe Jordan topped her brick orange lace shorts and tank set with a textured maroon cropped jacket, while Rossella Jardini paired a flirty pencil skirt constructed out of panels of brightly colored lace with a chunky sequined zip front jacket for Moschino. Some designers even managed to nail both trends for a/w ’12 by integrating metallic and lace into their collections. Caroline Charles sent gold pajamas alongside navy sequined lace evening wear, while Todd Lynn matched silver satin flared trousers with a light sleeveless lace top. But no other show represented the spirit of cool Britannia than Simone Rocha. The daughter of veteran designer John Rocha presented her first solo collection and corralled praise for a crisp white lace miniskirt suit and silver leather collared tops.

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