Marios Schwab is showing his collection for the third time at London Fashion Week today. Last year he was awarded Best New Designer at the British Fashion Awards. His future endeavours seem promising with the inclusion of evening dresses for Top Shop, which will be retailing as early as February 2008. His designs were separated by outlandish tie-dyed prints, jet black dresses with scarf wrap necklines and white thigh skimming frocks with intricate beaded designs. His signature bustier inspired dresses were no longer a predominant feature this season, nor were the presence of studded metals on black frocks.
Today’s most anticipated collection, Luella by Luella Bartley, opened the show with a conservative English theme. A type of conformist school girl, wearing a primary spotted blouson and an A-line pleated skirt. The interest for Luella grew by leaps and bounds when she teamed up with Mulberry, creating the Luella for Mulberry bag, her teen lines for Target as well as her work with Sony and MAC catapulted her into A-list designer status. Riding inspired slacks and fitted cropped jackets reflected her previous collections theme of a time-honoured country lifestyle. Thick rectangular glass frames and tiny purses were crucial in completing the trend. Towards the middle of the collection designs became edgier with the introduction of a punk inspired patent jacket and the lowering of necklines, but returned to classic Luella English conservatism with the introduction of a free flowing frock. Glimpses of rebellion were raised with the appearances of subtle black masks and patches of brightly coloured hair.
Jasper Conran remained true to his British routes with his spring collection. Jasper launched his first woman’s wear label in 1978 and has been a strong contender ever since. His most recent fragrance, Mr and Mistress by Joseph Conrad, launches this week. His signature use of luxury fabrics and unique precision in cut keep Conran true to his original vision.
Jonathan Saunders is known for embracing his love of print and shape, with the launch of his first pre-collection show, which will be in retail outlets from November, and his own cosmetic range launching this month, the Jonathan Saunders range is rapidly expanding. Over the seasons his collections have become more fluid and simple, with less emphasis on prints and more accent placed on simplicity and colour blocking.