Before London Fashion Week had been officially opened the courtyard of Somerset House was already teeming with an excitable and predictably noir-centric fashion pack.
The 230 year-old Thames-side building has taken the event to another level, and on this, it’s 25th anniversary, there is an altogether more sophisticated feel.
To kick off proceedings, Paul Costelloe showed his spring 2010 collection,which included his first line of menswear.
The show opened with muted hues, buttoned shift dresses and preppy public-school blazers in brown and cream stripes. There were a few notable shapes, with striped cap sleeved dresses and jackets but overall there was an elegant austerity to the opening pieces.
It was only with the injection of stiff, shimmering jacquard and futuristic shouldered coats that murmers were heard around the catwalk.
Metallic florals made the heavily structured jackets and dresses accessible and surprisingly feminine. Thick tubing details, oversized bows and funnel necks lent a ’60s space-age feel to the collection, which also included ladylike boxy cropped jackets and coat dresses. Low slung heavy panelling gave way to flirtatious pleated skirts, a balance between structure and wearability which Costelloe has done excellently.
Keeping a base tone of warm silver, splashes of fuschia and burnt orange injected life into the line, which was later given an edge with short black dresses and fingerless leather gloves. A statement, diamond shaped pleat was seen throughout the collection which worked well on the High Street ready prom dress designs. A luxurious cardigan shaped wrap dress proved particularly popular.
Costelloe’s menswear line was easy-to-wear, with relaxed pleated trousers in cream and linen summer suits. There was a nod to the more dramatically shaped shoulders seen in the women’s collection and fuschia and burnt orange were picked out in luxe cardigans.
Costelloe ended the show with two stunning floor length gowns, which were panelled in the same heavy fabrics that had run through the rest of the collection.
London Fashion Week runs until Tuesday 22 September.
Image by Brenda Annerl courtesy of Flickr