Dispatches from London: a new dawn for JW & HoH gets naughty

JW Anderson, Henry Holland, 1205, Julian Macdonald

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By Leisa Barnett @leisabarnett

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1. JW Anderson 2. House of Holland 3. Julian Macdonald

All eyes were on Jonathan Anderson yesterday. Not that they aren’t usually, of course - his show has long been a London Fashion Week highlight - but today was the start of a new chapter: his first since he sold the majority stake in his label to LVMH, and earned himself a role as creative director at Loewe into the bargain. So, no pressure, then.

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Was our boy feeling hesitant? Restraint was certainly there, all the way from the neutral colour palette through to the spare, clean lines that covered much of the body. Think long skirts, tall funnel necks - a 180 on spring’s bare-all sheers. This season, breasts became moulded cups, balanced out by voluminous, angular sleeves; they were distorted by triangular shapes jutting out of the chest; bandaged down by wide sections of fabric would around the waist, over suits, like chastity belts.

The fabrication was lush, with corduroys vying with plasticy mascara-smudged prints and, at the end, bunched-up wools. In short, it was a lot to take in; an intellectual offering that left a kind of stunned silence among its audience as we filtered out, wondering what to make of it. Which was, no doubt, what our reluctant star intended.

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Another first of the day was 1205’s first foray into catwalk. Designer Paula Gerbase has quietly garnered herself a fan base of editors with her elegant-yet-utilitarian take on classic tailoring, and she stuck to the script for autumn/winter 2014.

Inspired by sculptor Barbara Hepworth, the collection was imbued with a sense of the sea. Its boxy, square-cut tops, trapeze coats and tunics-over-trousers in tactile alpaca bouclés and blue mohair herringbones were at once nautical and artistic. Basically, we want to wear it all - what it lacked in oomph, it will more than compensate for at the tills.

Left to right: Sibling, 1205, Holly Fulton

Elsewhere there was more glitz to be had. Holly Fulton had us at ‘working women’, and her light, pretty offering of embellished pastel dresses, flirty skirts paired with metallic knee-high boots and tops with bejewelled hands stretching across the front of them was a pleasing balance of wit and substance.

Even Sibling toyed, uncharacteristically, with a bit of sparkle, styling many of their looks with wide-brimmed hats edged with glitter. Jo Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery offered a Fleetwood Mac-esque take on the season with shredded long knit skirts (not to be worn with stilettos, as one model discovered), pom-pom trims and embellished denim. Guaranteed sell-out? The simple red sweater with the heart intarsia - the perfect post-summer pick-me-up.

A lipstick and red-wine smeared napkin enticed us over to Henry Holland where, in the 6pm slot, a party vibe was fully in swing, helped along by ELLE cover star Lily Allen, Kelly Osborne and Coco Rocha in the front row and a fallen chandelier in the middle of the square catwalk. Enter Henry’s Debauched Debutantes: a ‘gang of HOH harlots’ who’d seen a debutante ball advertised on Facebook and ‘trashed the decadent ballroom setting’. To the strains of Whigfield, no less, and in Peter-Pan-collared, striped, sequinned dresses, and natty skirt suits with appliqued sequin lipsticks and cocktail glasses, and quilted bomber jackets in jewel colours embroidered with ‘Rich Bitch’ on the back.

Julien Macdonald’s show, at the Royal Courts of Justice, brought the day to an unashamedly blingy close. His sea-nymph glamazons - all wet hair and stained glass window-inspired eyes - were sequinned, jewel-encrusted, nude-mesh-panelled and embroidered to the hilt - much to the delight of a mega-watt front row that included Abbey Clancy, Samantha Barks, Laura Mvula and Millie Mackintosh. Wonder which one of them called dibs on the finalé gown: a bum-skimming gold sequinned bodysuit that trailed the finest, completely sheer silk train?

Read Lorraine Candy's exclusive LFW Blog

See what the ELLE team wore on Day 1

See all our coverage of Autumn/Winter 2014

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