Dispatches from London: Preen, Temperley and more

LFW: Temperley, Preen, Vivienne Westwood and Matthew Williamson

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By: Leisa Barnett Follow @leisabarnett

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Preen (1 and 2) and Matthew Williamson (3)

This season’s most unlikely fashion icon? Darth Vader. Yesterday, he made his way from the catwalks of New York (at Rodarte) to London by way of Preen.

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Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi made getting up for the 9am Sunday slot a pleasure with a rip-roaring, 70s sci-fi-inspired show. To the stripped back Debbie Harry vocal on Heart Of Glass came geometric, tessellated prints over day dresses that were cut loose on the hip and fell to the knee. Giant fur trapper hats - an homage to Vader’s helmet - were paired with silk blouses with Darth’s head emblazoned on them. There was a striking bright red-orange section that saw tailored pants paired with oversized furry tunics.
But really, it boiled down to this season’s parka with its oversized fur hood. Expect to see a lot of those on the streets - and, indeed, translated for the high street - come September.
Over at Temperley, Alice presented to us a ‘much savvier and sexier’ version of her usual romantic femininity. Cue ‘funky’ (her word, not ours) laser-cut gowns, tulip-shaped mini dresses over OTK suede boots, glamorous silk harem pants and lovely quilted smoking jackets.
The references were to Spanish cathedrals, Byzantine architecture and Chausible garments, but you’d be mistaken if you thought that would result in a note of solemnity (and certainly not for Amber Le Bon, who sat up front along with mum Yasmin, Eliza Doolittle, Joely Richardson and Holliday Grainger, gleefully compiling her new-season wishlist).
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Temperley, Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith

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From sex to politics and Vivienne Westwood, who has fracking at the top of her agenda right now. Her Red Label collection harked back to the 40s and was notable for its elegance and, well, unoutrageousness; the models wore their hair clipped up in neat curls, and their make-up was just-so.
'The first look alone would say everything,' Dame W declared, and the cream blouse, grey swing coat and matching pillbox hat ensemble did indeed set the tone for a considered collection of could-wear-it-all-straight-from-the-catwalk tailoring. Its highlight was the little woollen suit jackets, on some of which the hem tipped up at the back to display rows of ruffles; on others, the lapels splayed out to form the shape of a heart.

There was a 70s vibe at Paul Smith, who had relaxed his tailoring into fluid, pyjama shapes in clashing prints inspired by Persian rugs. A series of coats that looked like dressing gowns were delicious, as were the pink, wide-legged pants (though probably best reserved for definitely dry days), which came paired with an oversized knit.
The 70s were also the starting point for Matthew Williamson – and, notably, his new head of design, Danielle Scutt – whose collection was a ‘reimagining [of] the optimism and high glamour’ of the era. A recurring Pop-Art-y flower print came dotted over everything from Studio 54-ready catsuits, embellished along their horizontal necklines with huge gems, to strapless cocktail dresses with pink-tipped blue fur curving out at their hips. Bursts of brightly-coloured stars were embroidered on leather wiggle skirts and trousers before a section of dresses in which they collided with stripes of sequins; the very realisation of a new energy chez MW, and very sellable to boot.

See Matthew Williamson a/w 2014 here

See Paul Smith a/w 2014 here

See Preen a/w 2014 here

See Alice Temperley a/w 2014 here

See Vivienne Westwood a/w 2014 here

Read Lorraine Candy's exclusive LFW Blog

See all our coverage of Autumn/Winter 2014

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