The press day is always worked to its fullest by Ms Mandi Lennard: this time, the theme was ‘Mandi’s Basement’ and we exited with a Sopranos-style paper lunchbag full of Brooklyn’s finest bling. Of course, this didn’t outshine the clothing on show, but Mandi has the distinct advantage of representing some of London’s hottest talent.
As I am apparently somewhat of a HOH-aholic these days, so of course I made a beeline for Henry’s tartan-trussed corner, which frankly was hard to miss. The arcane accessories - Atalanta Weller’s tartan-heeled platform hiking boots and mink sporrans by Katie Hillier - looked surprisingly covetable, while the tailoring of Henry’s kilt-pleat trenches, courtesy of Saville Row’s Norton & Sons, was beyond-impeccable. Gareth Pugh’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ show retained his usual flair for spectacle (as our film aptly demonstrates), but in the showroom his collection has quietened down to include the luxury of intricate intarsia knits, knuckle-deep Kopenhagen Fur mink and beautifully bonded wool jersey and patent leather (as opposed to vinyl or PVC) to form his playful polyhedra.
Luxury, of course, is second nature to Roksanda Ilincic and her clothes heaved with Swarovski crystals, fox and bales of stiff silk cascading down classic cocktail frocks. In a very different vein were the part Alpine, part Early Learning Centre playful prints and sportif shapes of David David fresh from his first catwalk showing at Fashion East. Off the runway, Danielle Scutt’s collection (shown this season as lookbook instead of catwalk show) butched-up her usual femme fatale aesthetic with quilted shoulders and a clever way with lumberjack checks, and Nova Dando knitted crin, illuminated hoop-skirts and covered a record-case in sparkle (later assuring me there were headphones to match) in her inimitable costume dramas.
The only problem with the scene a la Lennard? None of this stuff is in the shops until Autumn – window-shopping at its most fiendishly tempting…