London Fashion Week AW14 highlights: day 4

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Day four is when things properly take shape at LFW with the heavy hitters showing the fruits of their labour. Alongside the international heavyweights Burberry Prorsum and Tom Ford, we had two newbies on the schedule. Blue Farrier made her debut as creative director of Issa London, while Maia Norman’s Mother Of Pearl presented at the ICA.

For longtime Issa lovers there were plenty of jersey pieces and feminine tailoring to keep everyone happy. For me though, the interest came from the more contemporary silhouettes – the oversized hand knit sweaters and roomy coats in particular – combined with a joyous graphic colour palette.
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I’m a big Mother Of Pearl fan-girl and have been waiting for ever for Maia Norman & Co to show at LFW. I caught the presentation by the skin of my teeth so had only a few seconds to take in everything. Mother Of Pearl has a clearly defined aesthetic that reinvents favourite shapes in different fabrics and prints season on season. So oversized bomber jackets, boyish shirts, minimalist coats and structured shorts got the William Morris treatment for AW14 in a harmonious medley of blue florals and red checks. Plus skater shoes with sheer pop socks…
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This is where I like to connect the dots and see what patterns are emerging. Voluminous, boxy shapes are definitely going nowhere – we saw them in Whistles’ plaid coats, Christopher Kane’s awkwardly oversized tailoring and Roksanda Ilincic’s cubist skirts. There’s also a big collage/salvage/patchwork theme on repeat. This was my morning highlight at Roksanda Ilincic, where there were patchwork fur coats and panelled asymmetric skirts in my favourite blue-and-maroon combo. Gary Card’s industrial set complemented it all beautifully…
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Whistles gave us a strict AW14 edit for its first official on-schedule presentation. I loved these slouchy, grey separates and soft blue check pieces, styled with terry-towelling hotel slippers and socks (socks are the favourite oomph-giving styling tool of the week it seems)…
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At Somerset House, I snatched an hour to peruse the exhibition stands. My standouts were these boyish shoes from The Old Curiosity Shop for Trickers (look at that green!), the graphic merino knits from Electronic Sheep (“Inspired by our scrapbooks”) and Romance Was Born’s trippy printed separates…
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I cannot lie, getting an invitation for Tom Ford was a thrill. And so was the Tom Ford experience… A lineup of hot boys bearing trays of champagne, padded dove grey seats, nightclub style angled mirrored walls, a belting disco soundtrack. The collection had its moments… A narrow ocelot top and skirt suit on Michele Hicks (or her doppleganger), an impeccable little black trouser suit, an utterly fabulous fur chubby. But I would have liked an element of surprise, just for a change…
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From Tom to Thomas. Thomas Tait decided to show off-schedule because he was unhappy with his slot. So his 8pm show was held at the majestic Foreign and Commonwealth offices in Westminster. Bathed in red neon light, models marched along a broad red carpet in complex constructivis coats, pleated leather shell tops and colour block trousers, punctuated with red curve heeled boots. It was different and energising and left me thinking Mr Tait has a good chance of copping that LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize
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[Images: GPS Radar, Disneyrollergirl, Mother Of Pearl photo by Bethan Holt]

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