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Best of British
Fashion people, you may not be surprised to hear, love nothing more than a bit of a drama. So I should point out that reports of the tragic death of London Fashion Week have been greatly exaggerated. There were more than enough official and unofficial shows to keep us out of mischief this week, and a respectable smattering of international buyers in the audience. None the less, the McQueens and McCartneys with whom London fashion is closely identified were conspicuous by their absence, and many lesser-known names were too broke to put on shows this season.
Fashion quiz time: why do designers seem to find it harder to achieve success in Britain than anywhere else? Is it (a) be cause they make daft clothes Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Book Bags or (b) because they’re not given proper support?
There are Black Prada Chain Bag definitely designers for whom the former is true. If you produce hideous, badly made, one-armed jumpsuits in the name of irony, there’s no point whining when no one buys them. But for the many designers who are making lovely, wearable clothes, the problem does lie in manufacturing and business issues. The hullabaloo over British designers “deserting” London is not the whole story: in terms of building an industry, it matters just as much where clothes are made as where Authentic Prada Vitello Daino they are shown.
Tracey Boyd, for instance, gave us utterly charming party dresses in shades of peach and coffee; delicate, sequinned evening capes; and the kind of properly tailored coats that ef fortlessly command attention by their silhouette alone. Boyd Bergdorf Goodman Prada Mens Shoes manufactures in Britain and, she stresses, wants to continue doing so. But this is expensive, which is reflected in prices, which in turn makes it hard to reach new customers and expand the business. The cheaper alternative, which many of Boyd’s contemporaries have turned to, is to have clothes made abroad, usually in Italy. But this brings its own problems. If a factory is faced with a tiny order from a British designer and a huge re-order from Gucci, no prizes for guessing who gets pushed to the back of the queue, fails to meet delivery deadlines and gets a reputation as unreliable.
Therefore the British Fashion Council wants to foster better understanding between designers and manufacturers – as chairman Nicholas Coleridge pointedly puts it, “to help young Are Prada Handbags Cheaper In Italy designers who have business plans”.
Business sense, in fashion, starts with keeping in mind what people want to wear. Take “classic with a twist”: with this Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada E Shop catchphrase, Paul Smith has stamped his brand name on a very English way of dressing that is both smart and bohemian. This Contradictions collection was inspired by a picture of the Duchess of Devonshire feeding chickens in her ballgown. Hence the nipped-in tweed skirts with a hint of lace petticoat at the hem, and tea dresses under the sort of outsize parkas that Kate Moss might wear.
Nicole Farhi distanced herself from the seasonal hemline circus. Her collection “continues to concern itself with individuality rather than set notions of dressing”, she explained. Indeed, the catwalk-gimmick short trousers are likely to be ignored in favour of the beautifully cut trousersuits in pinstripe or Prince of Wales check, and the gorgeous dress made of vertical strips of pale rose silk.
Betty Jackson, showing her 40th collection, announced her intention to create clothes that defy “both eras and time zones”. No wonder her clothes are worn by everyone from Pauline Prescott to Melanie Blatt: the tuxedo evening suits and satin-and-crepe cocktail dresses, in black or aubergine, were truly chic. Jasper Conran stuck closer to prevailing trends. His slightly folky prada replica handbags, long, flared skirts and vivid palette of poppy and apple had a similarly retro feel to Marc Jacobs.
Sadie Frost and Jemima French decided their FrostFrench label wasn’t ready for the catwalk, and put on a short play instead. In fact, by virtue of starring Kate Moss, the event got more attention than most of the catwalk shows put together; the clothes, though simple, are cute and desirable, and the growth of this label looks assured. Sharing a similar aesthetic was the Australian label Sass