#LFW A/W 2015: The ELLE News Blog

Everything you need to know - as it happens

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The ELLE fashion team reports from the front row at London Fashion Week a/w 2015. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for more updates.

Emma Sells, Fashion Features Writer: @evjsells

Leisa Millar, Acting Content Director: @leisamillar

Harriet Stewart, Market & Retail Editor: @harrietstewart

TUESDAY 24 FEBRUARY

7pm: And that's a wrap people! London Fashion Week draws to a close for another season with the ultimate party, the ELLE Style Awards. See all our coverage here.

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12.30pm: Christopher Raeburn headed out to see with an a/w 2015 collection filled with sharks, bubbles and survival jackets. He even deconstructed a life-raft, transorming it into an outsized orange cape and pasting the reflective strips across puffa jackets. He recycled naval blankets too, whipping them up in duffels, anoraks and pea coats.

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He also gave us the best pair of gloves that we've ever seen. Thanks, Christopher!

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11.30am: This yawning girl is Sofia Marques, the 21 year old younger sister of Marta and the muse and embodiment of all things Marques' Almeida. Basically, she is that cool girl that you really want to be.

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For a/w 2015 the design duo threw references to Frida Kahlo, Christian Lacroix and Stella Tennant in with the Sofia spirit that they love. The outcome? Denim, obviously - jeans with slashed knees, knotted tops and draped skirts with unfinished edges. They mixed in brilliantly colourful printed brocades and sheer chiffons to make polished, luxury pieces with an alternative 1990s vibe.

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9.30am: Anya Hindmarch can always be relied on to offer up a catwalk show with a twist. The big surprise at the unveiling of her M25-themed collection? The appearance of the London Gay Men's Chorus dressed in hard hats of orange high-vis jackets. 

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MONDAY 23 FEBRUARY

7pm: The Giles show was a real moment thanks to it's romantic Gothic, Georgian girls. The star? Anna Cleveland, who was mesmerising as she closed the show. Read Emma Sells' review in full here.

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6pm: ​Hunter Original is becoming the go-to for incredible set design. This season they comandeered an industrial warehouse and filled it with tiers of tanks that created waterfalls for the models to walk around.

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5pm: The Peter Pilotto collection was inspired by Snakes and Ladders, Ludo and Connect Four.We always knew that board games were cool.

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1pm: Kate Moss on the front row? A confetti covered finale? A live soundtrack? It's another pitch-perfect Burberry show. Read Rebecca Lowthorpe's full review here.

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11am: Erdem was inspired by film heroines like Kim Novak and Claudia Cardinale - and we took interiors tips from the set as well as loving the clothes. Read Rebecca Lowthorpe's review here.

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10am: An incredible colour palette and intircate textures made Roksanda a stand-out show. Read our full review here.

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SUNDAY 22 FEBRUARY

7.30pm: The penultimate show of the day was a celebratory one for British knitwear label Pringle of Scotland, who are celebrating their 200 year anniversary this year. They continued to push technical boundaries with 3D knitting teckniques, raised macramé and embossed leather. HS

SEE THE FULL PRINGLE OF SCOTLAND A/W 2015 SHOW

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5.30pm: Central Saint Martin’s graduate Phoebe English is a new name to watch. Her collections are conceptual but underneath all the beautiful layers of draped netting, knotted tulle and gathered latex skirts there were plenty of wearable pieces we would love to see in our wardrobes too - corduroy bermuda shorts, asymmetric dresses and a great pair of high-waist, wide-leg black trousers. HS

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5pm: Dame Vivienne Westwood always uses her shows as a platform for a campaign or cause that she feels passionately about. At today's Red Label show she was championing the Green Party, and the Party Leader, Nicola Bennett, had even taken a break from canvassing to sit front row. Dame Viv's support stretched to her outfit too - she took her catwalk bow, surrounded by a crowd of cheering models including Daisy Lowe in a black lace gown, sporting an anti-climate change badge. ES

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4.30pm: If ever there was a girl who could sell you a leather jacket, Sam Rollinson is that girl. She looked every bit the biker-chic part at the Belstaff presentation, swathed in leather and shearling with a glass of Champagne in hand. Great leather skirts, knits and biker boots too. Clothes aside - the spiced, warm cider was a very welcome addition. HS

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3pm: Read Emma Sells' Topshop Unique a/w 2015 show review here.

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2pm: Decadent 1920s gowns and slinky separates topped with oversized coats ruled the catwalk at Temperley London as Alice took her cue from Paul Poiret - and she enlisted the modelling  expertise of Jaquetta Wheeler and Sophie Dahl to help unveil them.

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1pm: Matthew Williamson looked to the 12 points of the zodiac for inspiration this season. We're not certain which star sign this girl is but we predict her future's looking pretty good.

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12.30pm: Next, to Sophia Webster where, after battling our way through the crowds that had gathered in Soho for Chinese New Year, we were treated to her usual kaleidoscopic display of kooky shoes, to an even more kooky backdrop of models, dancers and set design. The theme this year? Cosmic meets Coco-Cola with a side order of Freak Like Me – which meant shoes and bags were metallic, embellished, feathered, frilled, printed and pompom-ed. HS

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11.30am: Yasmin and Amber Le Bon took front-row seats at the ICA for a presentation by British brand Palmer//Harding. The London design duo, who set out to create the perfect white shirt brand, expended their offering this season with a collection that included shirt dresses, tailored black coats nipped in at the waist, origami fold skirts and a lovely pair of trousers adorned with piped-embroidery. HS

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10.30am: Clare Barrow looked to London for inspiration for her a/w 2015 collection, from city workers and power women in the workplace to her own yearning for freedom – represented by giant fans blowing across the models.

Her third collection sponsored by NEWGEN was full of the hand-drawn illustrations she has become known for, with a new colourful injection of reds, ochre and sky blue, all across silk separates, strapless dresses, leather trousers and a belted red coat that was a particular favourite. HS

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10am: You can always rely on Margaret Howell to nail the building blocks of your new season wardrobe. These are the five pieces we really want to be wearing come autumn. ES

The mannish coat.

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The perfect pleated skirt.

The leather bag.

Wool winter shorts.

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The dream sweater, worn over a polo neck naturally.

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9am: Read Emma Sells' Preen a/w 2015 show review here.

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SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY

8pm: It's 10 years since Gareth Pugh started his label and the landmark coincides with a return to London Fashion Week, his first show in the capital after six years in Paris and a season in New York. The atmosphere alone in his chosen space, a gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum, was powerful; dimly lit, the show opened with an unsettling film directed by Pugh's long time collaborator, Ruth Hogben, that showed a model cutting off her hair with an enourmous pair of scissors before smearing herself with red paint. Then his women strode down the catwalk as though they were going into battle, faces painted with St George's crosses and dressed in an armoured uniform of leather, heavy beading and fur and topped with head pieces to a soundtrack interspersed with the sound of Sunderland Football Club supporters chanting 'Who are ya?' The effect was haunting and powerful - a brilliant return to the schedule. ES

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7pm: Should Henry Holland ever tire of fashion, he's got a great career in party planning ahead of him; the man knows how to whip a crowd into a frenzy. His front row posse - Alexa Chung, Pixies Geldof and Lott, Mary Charteris and Nicola Roberts - were all present, correct and in giddily high spirits before a model had even stepped foot on the runway.

And what a runway. This season, an ingenius conveyor-belt catwalk added fuel to the fire - as, of course, did a collection, dubbed Urban Urchins, full of HoH hallmarks.

The graphic, striped pieces, tacked together with visible stitches, were typically irreverent, while the closing colour-pop furry gilets were instant wishlist material.

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If in doubt? Sling a silk neckerchief on and you're good to go. LM

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3pm: Lucas Nascimento continues to go from strength to strength. Case in point: at least two members of Team ELLE exited the show with the words, 'I really want that lurex jumpsuit.'

Continuing his quest to create easy-to-wear, high-impact pieces, this season sees him present throw-on-and-go slouch all-in-ones alongside Brazil-inspired floral jacquards (most covetably worked into coats with contrast leather hoods) and technically brilliant metallic jumpers that looked like they could've been made out of wire. LM

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4pm: Adornment was the theme at 1205. This being Paula Gerbase, though, who has carved out a niche with stripped back, beautifully simplistic separates, we weren't talking handfuls of crystals or over the top embellishment. Instead it was all about the quiet, subtle details.

Ring fastenings to gently gather wool.

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Narrow navy knife pleats that opened to reveal white insides.

And textures - the layered ribbed knits were particularly stand-out. ES

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2pm: If you're in the market for a party coat this autumn, consider Holly Fulton. She's got you covered. LM

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1pm: Strictly sexy are the two words we'd use to sum up Julien Macdonald's a/w 2015, held in the impressive, light-drenched surroundings of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - and not just because Bruno Tonioli was among the front row numbers (which, FYI, also included two Saturdays, Vanessa and Rochelle, one JLS - Marvin - and one distractingly cute baby, thanks to Tamara Ecclestone).

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There was a dominatrix feel to wiggle skirted-dresses, long leather gloves and boots, lady-of-the-night beadwork and chains swinging from the waist - punctuated with embroidered robes, barely-there open-weave knits and, of course, a red-carpet-ready selection of megawatt gowns. LM

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11.30am: Faustine Steinmetz creates clothes you really want to get up close and personal with so it was appropriate that her presentation was laid out more like an art exhibition than a fashion show. Her hand-crafted, re-worked fabrics are the antithesis of fast fashion.

No, that's not a blurry photo, it's the very clever effect of fuzzy fabric.

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Incredible painted jeans. Aren't you dying to reach out and touch them? ES

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11am: The dreamily nostalgic aesthetic of Wes Anderson was behind a confident show from Emilia Wickstead.

Her signature buttoned-up tailoring came in soft shades of duck egg, blush and buttermilk cut into New Look silhouettes, before we took a turn for the edgy with mod-ish, boxy PVC jackets and dresses of irridescent plaid (both of which are no doubt now on the wish list of serial EW front row-goer Alexa Chung). LM

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9am: When Maia Norman launched Mother of Pearl, its USP was seasonal collaborations with artists who created prints for the label. This season, then, marks a big departure as, for the first time, the collection - including the prints - has been designed in full by Amy Powney, Creative Director of the brand since 2011.

She'd been looking at 1990s girl gangs, fashion photography and style pin-ups - Winona Ryder, Gwyneth Paltrow, Claire Danes and Chloe Sevigny. So the floral dresses, styled with clompy shoes or slip on loafers and white tube socks, had a grungy feel and the sporty separates had an effortless cool-girl vibe. ES

FRIDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2015

8.30pm: There was a note of poinancy to this evening's Central Saint Martins MA show coming, as it did, just hours after its designers had attended the memorial service for Louise Wilson, the course tutor they lost suddenly in May. On the catwalk, however, there was no evidence that the 15 designers who showcased their final collections had been put off their stride.

The official success stories of the evening were Matty Bovan and Beth Postle, each scooping the L'Oréal Professionnel Creative Award for their psychedelic glitter knits and plasticised pop-art tabards respectively.

There was much more of note, of course, elsewhere. Particularly strong was Textiles for Fashion student Paul Thompson's beautifully understated designs with just one or two quiet moments of exquisite detail, like a coral reef-esque knit sprouting from the shoulder of a simple grey sheath. Ditto Hayley Grundmann's knitwear, which was so densely worked that parts of it stood away from the body, like cardboard wrapping or polystyrene chips.

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Towards the surreal end of the spectrum was Xinyuan Xu and some conceptual pieces that saw the models covered from heard to toe; one design looked like a giant black egg that had cracked at the side, its jagged seam revealing a slice of the girl's her pink bodysuit beneath - the only part of her actually visible. LM

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7.30pm: On to Fashion East at the ICA and first, it's upstairs to this season's static presenatations by newcomers Mary Benson and Caitlin Price.

Price's debut collection is all about melding grand mid-19th centuries dress with early noughties casualwear. The result? Coolly deconstructed dresses, tracksuits lovingly adorned with origami flowers and, of course, trainers with everything.

For Benson, things are somewhat trippier. Her collection, Gorgeous, is a surrealist blur of irreverant French accents, outrageous glam-rock suiting and, well, this vomiting Bambi.

Down in the basement, it was showtime for Ed Marler. 'It's about individuality. They all think they're kings and queens,' he noted about his girls (and boys) - who strutted, danced, twirled and, yes, stopped to hoik up their flared bumsters on the catwalk.

Cross that Friday night feeling - a Friday night when you're wearing something more daring than usual and you know you're looking good - with an early-Eighties, Only Fools And Horses vibe (there were sheepskins), and you're pretty much there. Kim Kardashian, eat your heart out. LM

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7pm: Samantha McCormack made her LFW debut with Le Kilt, a collection built around, you guessed it, kilts. The Scottish designer started the label after her granny made a kilt for her and she was constantly asked where she got it. She named it after a famed and now defunct Soho club that was a favourite with Leigh Bowery and Iain R Webb in the 1980s - its former home on Greek Street is now French restaurant L'Escargot, which played host to the presentation, complete with Scottish gin cocktails and a string quartet playing indie classics. 

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6pm: Molly Goddard set up an art class at her packed presentation with models sketching on easels arranged around a life model. Her ultra-feminine tulle and smocked cotton pieces were worn with tomboy attitude, as styled by Molly's sister, Alice. Just two seasons in she's already building a cult following so take note - she's definitely one to watch. She's curated a window at Dover Street Market to mark LFW - head down and get up close with her current collection. ES

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All the dresses are hand-smocked by Goddard in her West London studio.

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12.30pm: Eudon Choi is a whizz when it comes to outerwear. This is the coat we most wanted to take away from his catwalk show. Don't you want to cosy up in it right now?

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11am: At St Paul's Cathedral, the industry takes pause to remember Professor Louise Wilson, the formidable head of the fashion MA course at Central Saint Martins who died in May. Read all about it here. LM

 

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9.30am: London Fashion Week is officially open! After a breakfast hosted by BFC Chairman, Natalie Massenet, where she championed the success of the UK fashion industry (which is currently generating a whopping £46 billion to the UK economy), J JS Lee had the privilige of being the first designer to show. Her collection was inspired by the her childhood and, in particular, her tomboyish style, but these were definitely clothes for grown-ups.

She's a whizz at creating, simple, elegant tailored pieces and the gently gathered lightweight wool, the fuzzy Mongolian shearling and chunky knits made for a winning combination. We want those wrap-around trousers in our wardrobe right now. ES

THURSDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2015

8pm: Naomi Cambell set the tone by calling in favours and persuading an impressive roll call of celebrities - Jourdan Dunn, Georgia May Jagger, Vivienne Westwood and Katie Price among them - to model in her Fahsion For Relief show, raising money to help the fight against Ebola. See all the pictures here. ES

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