London Fashion Week Spring 2011

The fashion elites have been very busy this month! Moving from New York’s Fashion Week to London’s Fashion Week, the experts have gathered the latest styles we’ll be wearing in Spring 2011. With well known stateside names such as Burberry Prorsum, Paul Smith, Matthew Williamson , Vivienne Westwood, and the late Alexander McQueen showing their wares and talented up and comers David Koma, Mary Katrantzou, Todd Lynn and Issa excited me with their collections, it was a great fashion time in London.

David Koma’s presentation was beautiful in its simplistic color palate of black, white, cream and gold. While viewing his work, I got the impression of a modern prima ballerina, with beautiful full short skirted dresses that morphed from stage to afterparty with fluid transition. However, the dresses weren’t done  in a costume-y, unnatural fashion, they were realistic and I’d gladly own several pieces.

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Mary Katrantzou is a complicated designer to describe, so here’s one that might help you understand the talent; imagine Prada and Helmut Lang had a baby and the baby was raised by Alexander McQueen. Her latest collection is a clear homage to the late fashion visionary with beautiful patterns over rigid yet classic lines. Her voice is still maturing, so some designs mirror some other previous collections.

Todd Lynn is a former rock and roll stylist whose work has still retained its edgy roots, but still reads sophisticated and new. Primarily a menswear designer, Lynn has within the last year introduced womenswear into his collections–which I adore. His spring 2011 offering was fresh and funky, easily translatable from dramatic stage attire to unique cocktail dresses. The muted color pallete wasn’t boring because the designs were exciting.

Issa has Grecian dresses down pat. With that skill set, shes put a modern flair with belting, shirts, and using other fabrics such as lace. I adore the lace Grecian dresses but the traditional dresses with modern flair need some fine tuning to mitigate the additional bulk they appear to have around the midsection.

Vivienne Westwood is always a fave, simply because she is one of the original bad asses of fashion. This collection was a beautiful cornucopia of the variations a woman’s wardrobe must have. The casual dresses transitioned to the amazing suits and dresses that I adored.

Paul Smith took the menswear trend and British-sized it, with apologetically male styled shirts and pants in brighter colors and stilettos. Only the fashion adventurous are advised to try this style – or Janelle Monae if she ever wanted to break out of the monochromatic uniform she’s been sporting since she began in the game.

My English friends think Burberry Prorsum is “old hat”–played out–in their eyes. In mine, the collection for Spring 2011 is a perfect example of how adding a pop of unexpected color in a neutral outfit will take an outfit to the next level. While there were a couple of designs that walked down the runway that shouldn’t have, the overall collection is a perfect illustration on how color brightens up any outfit.

Matthew Williamson is known for his prints and red-carpet-ready dresses but this collection didn’t excite me like his past seasons because it had a recycled vibe. Even his gowns didn’t have the same panache this season, so it was disappointing that the only exciting thing about his Spr 2011 offering was that Sienna Miller left the fashion show in a helicopter.

Alexander McQueen’s resort 2011 collection should also be mentioned, for it simply isn’t fair that talented of a person was so tortured but created such beautiful work.

The heavyweights are showing starting Thursday at Milan Fashion Week. Gucci’s jewel tone fashion show kicked it off and I’ll have a full report shortly for you!

Burberry Prorsum

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