Last week we were in New York revelling in some fantastic collections and this week we head back across to London for the women’s ready to wear collections.  I am loving what I am seeing so far and the following are 2 of my favourite designers to show so far.  One will not be a surprise if you follow my blog as I have been a long time fan but the second maybe a little more of a surprise but I think the reason that I have included this designer is that she has taken a new direction with this current collection that is a real stand out!

In a shift in mood and how her collections are usually shown, Vivienne Westwood www.viviennewestwood.com  focused on  dressing a “posh, privileged, looked-after, very English woman,” as she  put it and got rid of the usual theatrics that sometimes go with her shows. There was not really anything new and trend setting here, but the collection  ticked all the boxes of her aesthetic that we have grown to love and expect from Westwood: vixens with nipped-waists, draped  tailoring and a touch of the Victorian urchin all mixed to create a strong collection.

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A Harris tweed  swing coat opened the show, followed by lady suits in Saville Row  pinstripes or dove-grey wool, there was a turn towards an Eighties vibe when looks were styled with  big shades, sheer black tights, a fur coat slung over the shoulders and a  boxy handbag. It might have been nothing new but it was still a polished collection that will keep those of use who love this label happy.

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Nothing new here but a range to keep fans of Westwood more than happy!

Usually when we think of  Mary Katrantzou www.marykatrantzou.com thought turns to bold digitally generated prints from this Greek born designer who is not based in London but not for this show.  She turned off her computer this season to explore different ways of decorating clothes, primarily via lace, brocades, pleats, jewellery pieces and chain mail. These elements all formed a collection that was more approachable and luxurious than ever.

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Along with road signs, badges and crests  were a particular fixation in this collection. Katrantzou lined them up to create very unconventional looks, which she cut into sweatshirts as well as mini dresses and evening gowns. It was surprising how well these all worked throughout the collection. Crystal-flecked badges also assembled in dense formations on the front of mink sweatshirts or long, narrow-sleeved gowns completed the looks for this lush collection.

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A strong collection that perhaps heralds a new direction for Mary Katrantzou to great effect!

For me it was interesting that in among all that dense decoration, some of the simplest clothes were the most striking, including fresh wool topcoats, long skirts with knife pleats and chain mail dresses, draped on the bias. What this collection highlighted to me was that Mary should go down this road more often as it really was a stand out collection.