>> The fash pack crosses the pond this week, bringing with them lots of wildly inspirational street-snapped style. Who's on deck? UK favorites Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, and Jade Williams, of course — plus many more. See them all right here, in our best-of-London street-style slideshow.
Cold shoulders? Roksanda Ilincic's answer is a Fall 2012 collection of sheath dresses, tailored trousers, and slouchy sweatshirts all topped with fur trim. It's the modern girl's cold-weather wardrobe — complete with the most sophisticated play on buffalo plaid (yes, sophisticated plaid) we've ever seen embellished onto deep burgundy dresses and bold bright blue pencil skirts. Silhouettes too speak to that modern proportion — slouchier tops and slim-cut skirts. Nothing is too literal; while sporty references abound with hooded sweatshirts, relaxed trousers, or full jumpsuits, Roksanda counters with luxe fur trim on the same laid-back toppers. She always remembers her clientele with the feminine allure they crave. To that note, there are the classic ladylike silhouettes — sheaths finished with a flutter of ruffles at the hem or a sharp little dress with just the right draping. It's not hard to imagine Roksanda's fans like Kate Middleton or Michelle Obama slipping into any of the designer's perfectly crafted dresses.
- Trends: Full skirts, buffalo plaid, brights, fur trim, sporty dressing, menswear.
- Colors: Black, red, bright blue, yellow, purple, gray, and white.
- Key Piece: We love the embellished take on buffalo plaid, especially the deep red and black sheath.
- Accessories: Yellow ankle-strap pumps, slouchy bucket bags.
- Who Would Wear It: Polished feminine types who crave sophisticated cuts and statement color; fans like Michelle Obama and Keira Knightley.
We first called out Olivia Palermo for her exceptional London Fashion Week style, and now it's time to give Alexa Chung her due credit. The Brit It girl wore two fabulous outfits that we're loving for different reasons. Her day look manages to be ladylike, cool, and vintage inspired all at the same time, while her night ensemble daringly pairs two unlikely matches: ankle cords and bow pumps. Step inside to get a closer look at Alexa's LFW looks and to shop similar pieces.
>> Roksanda Ilincic's particular breed of edgy elegance was in full effect for Fall 2012. The designer found inspiration from "leisurewear, weekendwear, countryside wear," and mixed it with slouchy menswear silhouettes and superluxe fabrics for a sporty kind of refinement. "It is a little bit about women rebelling at having to look immaculate all the time and wanting to become more free like a man," the designer explained.
>> The theme, this season, was passion. "I liked the idea that my woman had been misbehaving down in the garden, and had to find her way back to the manor house. So she's a little disheveled and messy," Holly Fulton explained. The designer culled inspiration from Lady Chatterley's Lover and humid garden greenhouses, resulting in a selection of sleek cocktail dresses and fluid separates in a dynamic palette of scarlet, berry, teal, and black. The designer's signature deco prints were a strong point as usual; for Fall, they came in mirrored art nouveau arches or in the form of languid orchids, palm fronds, and insects.
>> Mary Katrantzou injects her signature surrealist prints with a bit of bold angularity for Fall 2012. Digitized geometric patterns and futuristic grid prints are cheekily summoned from near-obsolete items: typewriters, rotary phones, and number 2 pencils. Silhouettes are structured and full, with hourglass shapes and nipped-in waists to keep them looking superfemme. As for the color palette? It's just as eye-poppingly rich as one would expect from Katrantzou: emerald, lilac, canary yellow, and brilliant blue.
Temperley London's Fall 2012 collection was as good as gold, literally. Inspired by the decadence of religious paintings and tapestries from the Renaissance, Alice Temperley turned out glamour girls in shiny pantsuits, lovely lamé, and brocade and velvet dresses. A military-inspired cape coat and a velvet jumpsuit were standouts in our eyes, but watch the entire runway show to see what your favorite pieces are!
Inspired by Where the Wild Things Are, and with a star-studded front row who sat upon fur-covered seats, Mulberry's Fall 2012 runway show was a fabulously furry foray into fashion. Fur took center stage via fuzzy vests cinched at the waists and even cozy dresses, with nomadic knits and psychedelic prints making delightful sartorial cameos as well. But as every Alexa-loving fashionable fille knows, Mulberry shines in its handbag department, and this season bright orange totes and ikat satchels stole our hearts and arms.
>> The first McQ show to grace London in so many years was marked by a triumphant — and theatrical — return. On a runway strewn with autumnal leaves and a set complete with a wintery forest, Sarah Burton offered up khaki colorblocked coats, embellished velvet frocks, full-skirted tartan, and fantastical tulle-and-flower confections. "A love story, a love of McQueen and a love of great British style — from military coats to overblown ball gowns," the show notes explained. And it was.
>> For his second season at Pringle of Scotland, Alistair Carr upped the rebellion factor, riffing on classic schoolgirl shapes and injecting them with a bit of deconstruction and graphic illusion. Pleated skirts were cut in architectural layers, while "cardigans" were pieced onto printed frocks for a trompe l'oeil effect. The real winners, however, were the coats: sharply tailored, they came in decadent camel or navy wool and with super-fuzzy colorblocked collars.