There has been discussion throughout this London Fashion Week as to whether the fact so many of its native designers seem to be in-thrall to good taste is a negative or not. The Fashion East show today seemed to show both sides of the argument.
Helen Lawrence's subversive knitwear, patched with latex panels and decorated with big 'X's was an ingenious and appealingly iconoclastic take on what was essentially commercial. You can see this designer travelling a Marques Almeida or Claire Barrow route - clothing that is recognisably hers, bought by a certain tribe and worn to prove you're part of the club.
It was a similar story with Louise Allsop's clubber take on the column dress - hers was a collection that had direction. But that direction didn't take it so far that it went off the scale in terms of wearability.
Both of these designers are to be applauded for navigating the fine line between balancing creativity and commerce. Boring, they weren't.
But they were tonally different to many of the designers who have shown under the FE umbrella: Gareth Pugh, Louise Gray, Dr Noki. These designers were more about narrative than the orderbook - not that one is superior to the other, when skill and wit is involved, two things Fashion East is always heavy in.
It was Saint Martins graduate and LFW virgin Ed Marler that spoke most to those audience members wondering whether London had lost its weirdness and its opulence. His collection was inspired by a disparate troupe of vampires, thrown together in eternal life - a story that not only warmed the hearts of fashion week thrillseekers but also allowed Marler to pull in eclectic references from just about everywhere.
There were fourteenth century tapestry prints turned into pelmet skirts and denim jackets, eighteenth century frock coats with trailing sleeves, bondage-inspired hooks and ties on scarlet satin and peach gowns, as well as bumster trousers for the boys and crested kevlar waistcoats. It was kitsch and fantastic and it showed great verve as much as it it did technical ability.
It will be an exciting season for Marler, and for us, should he appear in the Fashion east line-up again next year.