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Inside London Fashion Week…

BY LIZZIE, WOMENSWEAR EDITOR ON 16 SEP 2012 10:25 WOMEN'S FASHIONCOMMENTS

Backstage at Jasper Conran

Lights, camera, glamour, action – it’s time to primp, preen and practise that pout, for London Fashion Week is back in town. Ever-ready for the front row, Debenhams spent the day hanging out with the fashion pack. After all, given that so many of our Designers at Debenhams are showcasing their SS13 collections, where else would you expect us to be..? 

Jasper Conran


Known for his timeless, contemporary style, the SS13 show from Debenhams designer Jasper Conran gave us a sneak preview of spring/summer ’13 – and we can certainly confirm that the future is bright.

We have to admit, the boldly coloured flowers that mounted the walls, and ‘grass’ catwalk, certainly surprised us upon entering the Courtyard Show Space at Somerset House – the venue for the Jasper Conran show. Normally, with this designer, we expect something more sleek and classic than kitsch and playful but, as Vogue.co.uk stated post-show, the collection was a clever move for the designer, for this is a collection that will attract new customers, without alienating the loyal fanbase.

Jasper Conran himself describes this collection as “Marfa meets Saville Row”, with a mid-Western soundtrack including Me and Bobby McGee, the clothes themselves had a Western feel with appliqued denim, flared mini skirts, sequinned dresses teamed with tailored jackets and waistcoats in leather, with many floral dresses that screamed ‘English Rose’. There were many chic, simple shifts more in-line with what we usually expect from Jasper Conran, yet everything was in bold colours and beautifully bright, eye-catching hues.


Stand out piece:
We are already hoping and praying that we manage to get our hands on the patchwork bandeau maxi dress… but we’ve a feeling we might have to get in line. 

Shop J by Jasper Conran

John Rocha


Next up, we teetered (it’s Fashion Week, darling, so only the highest heels will do) along to John Rocha – just in time to nip backstage and have a peek at what was going on. Here, the usual rush, hustle and bustle of hair and make-up was in evidence, along with some very interesting hats set aside on an accessories table, waiting to perch on the models’ heads. They looked like crushed paper, messy and crisp, and we were intrigued to see how they fit into the show…

The theme of the show, according to John Rocha himself, was inspired by time spent in Chateau Lacoste – a vineyard in the south of France. The result was a collection that combined the soft with the tough, wild with romantic.

The designer’s signature colours of black and cream were in evidence, along with vibrant rose pinks and scarlett reds – with a few golden brocade pieces thrown into the mix. Silk organza was a key fabric/detail, with, as at Jasper Conran, embellishment and patchwork predominant in the show.

Oh, and for the record, those hats we had spied actually fitted right in, although we can’t say we feel like donning one next spring just to walk down the street. Come summer at Ascot, however, and we wouldn’t be surprised if we spied one or two similar creations…

Stand out piece: The scarlett ogranza prom-style dress that opened the show – and what a show-stopping entrance, if ever we saw one.

Shop Rocha. John Rocha

House of Holland

A House of Holland show was never going to be a ‘normal’ event, therefore when we found ourselves leaving the vicinity of the Somerset House, Courtyard Show Space, to traipse across to a car park in the heart of London’s Soho, we certainly weren’t surprised – although we were somewhat bemused to be met by a ‘wall of Henrys’ (see above).

As we climbed the never-ending flight of stairs in the car park, we did wonder – will House of Holland devotees, Nicola Roberts and Kelly Osbourne, really make the effort to do this? The answer was yes, they did – so they must certainly love Henry and, after watching the show, it was easy to see why. The 90s soundtrack alone was enough to make us smile (anyone else remember Shampoo’s ‘Trouble’?), yet the collection certainly didn’t disappoint either.

Slightly darker than Henry Holland’s usual mainline collection, fans of Henry can expect to see spring summer ’13 come over all grunge. Henry himself told Style.com, post-show, that this time around, the House of Holland girl has “developed an attitude problem”.

Thanks to the ruffled bustiers, peplum tops, checked midi dresses with retro florals and gold and purple tones – we’re currently experiencing anything but.

Key stand out piece: Blue checked bandeau dress, with cream detail on bustier and matching cream belt – we like. A lot.

Shop H! by Henry Holland

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