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The Times of London

LONDON… Is it just us or are these London collections impossible to define? The end of the week is here already and the Fashion Office has not yet managed to get a sense of the overall direction for fall. The decision of Mathew Williamson and Jonathan Saunders to show in NYC has left something of a hole in the fashion landscape and the collection we had all been waiting with baited breath, that of Christopher Kane, while it was lovely and amazing, left us wanting more. There are still a couple of the major London stars to review but at this point, here are the facts. The designers either played it safe verging on the side of what is commercially viable or they delved deeper into their own personal mythology of what a collection should be all about. The second could be said of Bora Aksu, who showed a winter version of his spring show, filled with flirty dresses overlaid with corsets and breast-plates.

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BORA AKSU

Duro Olowu has a huge talent for creating flamboyant prints and bringing them together in surprisingly harmonious melanges. He took things to a new level this season with a leaner, somewhat more sophisticated silhouette for a series of coats, jackets and long skirts. Among the mixes were vivid camouflage prints that brought to mind the ’80s heyday of Stephen Sprouse; Ikat and African batik on a lamé base, and roses on chintz. The vibrant color and global ambiance pulled the whole collection together. Since he was known for one single patchwork dress this designer has certainly come a long way!

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DURO OLOWU

Henry Holland’s inspiration was “good girl gone bad” featuring his friend and muse Agyness Deyn (complete with eye-patch covering up an ill-timed eye infection). The irony was that due to the yards of tartan used for kilts, suits even a wedding dress and heraldic crests as all-over prints, and as placements, it created a collection with more than a passing resemblance to this season’s Ralph Lauren show. Which is to say it will undoubtedly be as sellable (ah, that word again!) as the tee-shirts this designer became known for a few seasons ago.

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HOUSE OF HOLLAND 

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