LFW on steroids

Since London Fashion week is celebrating it's 25th anniversary, it makes sense for British Vogue to be all over it. From day one, all news switches to the event, looking at the latest talents, oldest friends and checking the schedule for what comes next.

LFW: And They're Off

LONDON FASHION WEEK kicks off today - and as predicted the 25th anniversary is set to be the biggest ever. Mayor of London Boris Johnson will officially open the showcase at Somerset House this morning and, like the rest of us, is looking forward to seeing some great British talent.

"I'm proud to stand here and project to the world the bullish message that London is the current capital of fashion," Johnson said. "Our designers, brands, and models have conquered the world, icons of this most creative of sectors were conceived here, and this week will prove to the world we are as imaginative, energetic and pioneering as ever."

Returning for the 25th anniversary celebrations, designers including Matthew Williamson, Jonathan Saunders and Burberry will join London-based designers - from Erdem and Roksanda Ilincic to Christopher Kane and Osman - in celebrating the event's quarter century milestone.

Today's shows get under way with traditional first show Paul Costelloe, followed by Caroline Charles, former Fashion Fringe winner Eun Jeong, Emilio de la Morena, Bora Asku, Sass & Bide and Aminaka Wilmot.

LFW: Macdonald's Underwater Love

AFTER the success of last season's biker chick, Julien Macdonald began the search for a new muse just as soon as his autumn/winter 2009-10 show was over - and he found her in the sea.

"I went to Egypt with some friends and I've always wanted to try diving but I've always been claustrophobic - but this time I managed to do it for the first time," he told us. "I was really mesmerised by the mystery of it and all the iridescence - and the fact that it gets darker and spookier the deeper you go."

"Afterwards I was sitting in my wetsuit and realised I was wearing this great garment - with zips and seams and amazing fabric that just sucks you in. And that was it - scuba was the new biker. She's a strong, athletic, sporty woman - but she has the softness of a colour palette inspired by oyster shells and iridescent sardine scales. Then the hardness comes back via spiky beading inspired by sea urchins."

Embroidery by Hurel in Paris has made for stunning degradé sequin dresses - with inbuilt corsets to up the wow factor - in the highest possible quality, while Macdonald's signature cobweb knits appear in tangled mini dresses, some encrusted with jewels as if the sun is reflecting off a fishing net as it's hauled out of the sea.

Lacquered dresses with slashes across the neck and down the side, and wide PVC macs - one in a delicious toffee tone that is bound to be a winner next season - prove again that Macdonald is still just as sexy as ever - but the new found maturity afforded to him by his investor, his new Old Burlington Street headquarters, his new emphasis on romance - and his new love of diving, of course - means that he's no longer just about sex.

His spring/summer show on Sunday in the Royal Horticultural Hall will be one of the highlights of London Fashion Week . "We're really doing something special in there," he says. "It's a major production."

Julien Macdonald will show at 5pm on Sunday 20th September.

"It is an exciting year," the designer qualified, "but we must be careful. I love London and like everyone I am looking forward to the 25th anniversary London Fashion Week but I think we have to try to remember what this smells like; this excitement, this buzz. Otherwise next year could fall flat."
- Roland Mouret

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