London Fashion Week kicks off with Preen, Sass & Bide, House of Holland and Mulberry

On the back of New York Fashion Week comes London’s offering for Spring/Summer 2012. Friday kicked off with Preen by Thornton Bregazzi who offered up a sleek and tailored collection with pops of colour and animal print. Boldly clashing colour abounded: from hot pink and yellow, yellow and powder blue to hot pink and red. The pencil skirt featured heavily, in a leopard print or block colours and pants were slim, a cigarette cut, and teamed with pleated sleeveless tops or floaty blouses. A particular favourite was the dresses; a red dress with a full skirt and white and red print on the bodice or a floor length red and hot pink dress with pleats at the neckline.

Following in the afternoon was Sass and Bide who showed a very wearable collection, taking a refreshing twist on many of the key elements for the season. Using polka dot prints and tribal themed beading, colour blocking was taken to a new level. Using predominately teal, cobalt, burnt orange and yellow the duo created a patchwork of dresses and skirts with a triangle of print here and a square of colour here, or floaty chiffon was draped around dresses and trailed behind the models. Also unique in the collection was the use of metallic, from gold to ocean blue to add interest to the colour blocking. Another worthy mention goes to the accessories, from the orange and wood tubular chokers to the vibrant yellow chandelier style necklaces. Australians showing Europe how to do summer.

Saturday saw British rock at its best with collections from House of Holland and Vivienne Westwood. Henry Holland presented his “pastel punk” show to the likes of Pixie Geldof, Eliza Dootlittle, Nicola Roberts and Jaime Winstone. The pastels included peaches and cream, pale blue and lilac with snakeskin detail on belts and collars. The hemlines were shorter than most seen so far and Henry’s take on tartan for the season didn’t disappoint either with lilac, pale lime and peach in the form or dresses and pants and matches with mesh tops and leather bras underneath. Cow print also made a come back on transparent jersey dresses. Not a collection for those who want to play it safe.

Saturday contrasted dramatically with Sunday’s offering.

Mulberry was the main event and Emma Hill didn’t disappoint, presenting a collection the showed the girlier side of Londonians. Although most famous for their collection of bags, the clothes didn’t disappoint and with Kate Moss and Kirsten Stewart front row, the show was sure to impress. Lemon was contrasted with nudes, with floaty tulle maxi skirts and water proof pea coats. KarKi green featured too on drawstring dresses and anoraks. What was refreshing was the stripe prints – large horizontal blocks in green, yellow and pink which fitted perfectly with the summer wonderland theme of ice-cream soft toys of the collection. There were animal prints also, made lighter for spring with delicate sequin detail and combined with soft cream accessories. The handbags didn’t disappoint either, with the Evelina hobo coming hot lemon and the Alexia satchel was given the girly detail of teddy bear head rivets.