Colour on the catwalk at London Fashion Week 2011
Harriet Quick, Fashion Features Director at British Vogue, reports from the front row
Baroque splendour (think luscious velvets, jet embroidery, lacquered lace), artisan craft (quilting, bespoke Scottish tweeds, hand weaving) and outright fetish (straps, slashes, corsets and furry sleeved coats) prevailed at a triumphant London Fashion Week.
With a new abundance of foreign press and dignitaries in town, and with Samantha Cameron fulfilling duties as newly appointed ambassador of the BFC, it was a good time to show off and play talents to the full.
We wowed at Erdem's rich devore, embroidered sheath dresses, were in awe of Giles' severe beauties in architectural long skirted black gowns wrapped with leather cinch belts, and delighted at Jonathan Saunders' opulent prints of foliage and birds that evoked a William Morris charm.
There were the heritage names on show too with Burberry mounting a starry show staged in a marquee in Kensington Gardens (a first). The message was coats: they came in plaid, in brights, in leather trimmed tweed topped with furry flat caps.
Aquascutum is getting a makeover with new creative director, Joanna Sykes. Her strength is urban sportswear - cue voluminous parkas and gilets with nylon and fur detachable collars that would look hip and cool anywhere.
BFC Vogue Fashion Fund winner, Christopher Kane, fused crochet and plaid leather in a dour chic look. Newer names like Holly Fulton with her surreal pop art prints and dazzling embellishments is a fellow Scot showing feisty elegance. One to watch is JW Anderson with his bricolage of mohair and paisley in slim knits and boyish trousers which chime with fashion's androgynous mood.
London partied too, with the new W hotel in Leicester Square, Bungalow 8, and The Box providing late night entertainment to the ebullient glam crowds.
Harriet Quick is the Fashion Features Director at Vogue UK