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Highlights from London Fashion Week

London may not have fashion’s biggest A-list names, but it has some of the most creative.

The reviews

1 Acne
“I am fascinated with the girls in my design studio,” said Acne founder Jonny Johansson on his inspiration for his Autumn/Winter 2011 collection. “My girls are glamorous, but not rich — they are cool.” That’s good news for the girls who don’t want to buy into the season’s flashy fur and sequined looks. Glamour is a big buzz word this season, but Acne took ideas that sound over-the-top on paper — gold and silver color-blocked leather trousers, for instance — and rendered them in an understated, clean and modern way.

2 Topshop Unique
Cruella Deville as fashion muse? Sounds frightening, but the “101 Dalmatians” reference made for fun and cheeky clothes that will most likely be a hit with Topshop’s shoppers. The collection for the retailer’s in-house line featured Dalmatian spots on everything from an oversized faux fur stole to a series of lace-up ankle booties. Designer Karen Bonser used 1930s America as her decade of choice, mining the period for its lean, loose silhouettes and using it as reference point for her prints. Some of the dresses were very pretty, such as an ivory, belted silk dress with a pleated bottom. Others, such as an outsize faux fur jacket that opened the show, looked too costumey.

3 Meadham Kirchoff
Clocking in at roughly two minutes, Ed Meadham and Ben Kirchoff’s unusually brief runway show was easily the shortest of the season — and the most memorable. The happening went like this: The entire cast of models made a grand entrance onto the catwalk and then stormed down the runway all at once to the theme songs from “Psycho” and “The Shining.” They exited the runway as quickly as they had entered, did a quick walkaround once more, and lights out — the show was over. The clothes stood their own against the staging — morbidly beautiful boucle coats, peasant blouses and embroidered skirts worn over delicate slips in black, white and red. The only drawback to these beautifully crafted looks was that they occasionally veered into stage territory. But taken apart, each piece is a standout.



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