Stella's Fabulous Fashion Fete
Quickly dubbed as the “hard to beat event of the season,” Stella McCartney’s ‘fashion spectacular’ and first London presentation in sixteen years was a true highlight of the London Fashion Week Fall 2012 season. Opting out of her usual Paris Fashion Week appearance, McCartney brought her evening wear collection ‘home’ in a celebration of nationalism that coincides with her role designing for the Great Britain Olympic team in this summer’s also London-based games. The black tie, formal dinner affair hosted an eclectic group of guests including Rihanna, Kate Moss, Kanye West, Zaha Hadid, Peter Blake, Twiggy, and Bianca Jagger. Dressed in the collection, models joined guests at each table as Ronnie Scott’s orchestra played jazz standards followed by a performance by Dutch magician Hans Klok and special assistant Alexa Chung. Even after all of this action—the party was just getting started. The multi-talented models (some professional dancers in disguise) then took markedly more conspicuous positions atop each table for a flash mob-esque performance to a Led Zeppelin soundtrack. Marble-printed silk and feminine lace appeared in bold cobalt blue and rich orange alongside stark black and white. Silhouettes ranged from full-length gowns to bubbly cocktail frocks and featured McCartney’s signature tailored suiting and color-blocked hourglass silhouettes. "I wanted to do something special to celebrate being back in London," said McCartney. "I love magic, and that was pretty magic."
Sarah Burton Brings Alexander McQueen Home with First McQ Runway Show
The Fall 2012 season brought the premiere Alexander McQueen McQ runway show to London Fashion Week. An evolution of the brand’s diffusion line, Fall 2012 McQ appeared less street-savvy, forgoing denim and tee shirts for more sophisticated ready-to-wear. Heavy with military aesthetic, forest green, tartan, and black velvet coats were paired with patent belts and thigh-high laced boots. Expertly tailored menswear met ultra feminine gowns, nipped at the waist with flora appliqué or finished with black lace. Dark McQueen romance exuded from the collection with heavily embroidered wool and velvet and structured silhouettes. In a setting as dramatic as the collection, models, with top knots styled into oversized saucers, strutted on an autumn leave covered runway. The show finished with the last model following a mysterious, rope-led path to a secluded shack in the McQ forest that suddenly filled the space with techno beats free cocktails. "This was about a love of McQueen and everything we do," said designer Sarah Burton backstage after the McQ show. "It feels great to be here," she added.
Burberry Prorsum Makes It Rain
Joining London Fashion Week’s obvious call for unprecedented drama and unparalleled performances—Burberry presented an equally praise-worthy collection. Designer Christopher Bailey truly played to uniquely British characteristics. Titled “Town and Field,” the Fall 2012 season was about combining the two aesthetics and infusing them with British charm. Feminine lace, peplums, and ruffles spoke ‘town’ in thirties and forties inspired silhouettes. Herringbone, tweed, and corduroy represented ‘field’ with literal interpretations in the form of country critter embroidery. A subdued color palette of military green, navy, camel, and gray popped with mustard, teal, and burgundy accents. With roots in outerwear, ‘making it rain’ at the Fall 2012 presentation seemed a fitting nod to the brand’s signature trenches. With a crack of the thunder, models presented the finale carry umbrellas as a simulated rainstorm took place outside the glass-encased venue. "A show needs to be emotive," said Bailey backstage. "I wanted to take an affectionate look at British cliches and make them into something that feels interesting and elegant. And I love the British weather, so it was fun to celebrate that."
After receiving less than enthusiastic reviews for his Spring 2012 collection last September, Tom Ford rebuttals with a vengeance with his Fall 2012 presentation. Reverting to his tried and true methods, Ford showed his collection to an intimate group of editors—forgoing photographers and personally introducing each look. (Ford isn’t a fan of releasing images before the collection becomes available.) According to The Guardian style contributor Jess Cartner-Morley; Ford began by addressing last season’s blunder. His goal to celebrate individuality of every woman led him to create unique looks on the Spring 2012 runway. "But what that doesn't do is send a strong, sharp message of what I'm about for the season,” Ford acknowledged; “That was missing." So with a timeless and cohesive collection, Ford conveyed his vision with slim, tailored separates; voluminous fur coats; the combination of tough leather and delicate crepe; and sharp accessories like bags with gilded hardware and pointed stiletto boots.