London Fashion Week

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London Fashion Week has so far been curiously grown-up, which is very good news for the over-40s babe.

Kane dressI’ve been looking at the Fall collections from London Fashion Week to pick out what might be suitable for the over-40s babe.

Well, quite a lot, is the answer. Leaving aside the micro minis, etc, there were quite a few usable looks strutting down the catwalk and the whole ethos so far has seemed very grown up, classic and – quite often – countrified. I wonder if this is a sign of the infant terrible, London, finally becoming an adult?

Kane jacketFirst up, from Christopher Kane (probably set to be the lead influence this season), came some interesting florals, usually on a black ground. If you like this look, you could track down a black tote bag with a big, bold floral design and that would update your whole wardrobe for the season. Alternatively, a scarf would do the trick. One other option that might be fun is to take a black coat or jacket to a professional embroiderer and have them treat the collar, revers or cuffs with some big, bold floral designs. 

Erdemerdem lace dressFrom Erdem came some interesting dark florals and other prints such as these swallows, again often on a dark background. I love prints with a dark background, which were de rigeur for women in the 1930s and 1940s, because they are both practical and slimming. I’d snap these up while they’re available, along with the heavy laces in black, taupe and grey that also featured in this collection. Heavy lace of this kind – guipure and its ilk – are one of those revolving wheels in fashion: buy correctly now and you could wear your pieces for the next 30 years. I’d go for a sleeveless vest and a long, v-neck top with sleeves. 

Nicole coatNicole jacketFrom Nicole Fahri, who produced a nice grown-up collection, came lots of classic looks in beige and black. I like this kind of thing because it’s pretty much how I dress (right now I’m in a long black pencil skirt and long beige v-neck cardi with pockets, which could have been lifted straight off her catwalk) but she also showed another trend – plenty of black patent.

Patent was something that also turned up at Kane’s show, so I predict the shops will be full of it, and pretty good knockoffs too, by autumn. I’d go for boots, shoes, belts or bags rather than whole coats, and certainly not leggings. 

Fahri also showed quite a lot of asymmetric garments – like Comme des Garcons but not as hostile, so if asymmetry is your thing (and it is mine), that’s another trend worth exploring.  Asymmetric garments suit intellectual women who want to be noticed for their difference, not their sameness and are a great design thread for women over 40. 

JulienIf you like to spend winter in big fluffy cableknit sweaters and grey tweed, there were plenty to be found at Julien Macdonald’s show, along with some very nice tailoring in dense black wools and camelhair.  Since camelhair also turned up at Fahri, that could be a go-to colour for the winter (time to get out my camelhair car coat with black chenille embroidery). Macdonald also showed lots of black chiffon, and black lace over nude chiffon – a great colourway for lingerie or sexy eveningwear. My major complaint about his show, though, was the use of some of the most anorexically thin models I’ve ever seen – one of the girls looked frankly like a corpse. 

Pringle dressThere were more cream cableknits and grey tweed over at Pringle, along with gorgeous cobweb knits in black and camel colour. Apparently this uses a new technique involving soluble fibres, which washes away to reveal the cobweb pattern. Very pretty anyway. 

So, overall, classic but not in any way sombre, with lots of food for thought for next winter. But how about we get this one over with first?


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