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Ah, London…I’ve always had such a romantic notion of London and the UK in general. I suppose I naively base my assumptions on one too many Masterpiece Theatre dramas, but a girl can still dream, right? Another reason I am so in love with London is that I feel like fashion is much less restrained than it is here in the US.

Some of the most artistic and closely watched designers have come out of Central Saint Martins (Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Gareth Pugh – just to name a few); influential people like Isabella Blow, Daphne Guinness and Susie Bubble are (and were) avid champions of experimental talent; Brit-based magazines like POP, Dazed and Confused and Love continue to push the boundaries of art, fashion and style; and every season the London designers seem to be having so much more fun than everyone else – at least that’s how it appears on the runway.

So, here they are – a few of my favorite looks and trends from the London shows…

Cropped Jackets

One peek in my closet and you can guess that I love jackets. They are the perfect finishing touch and can alter a look in an instant. While London-based designers don’t seem to be as heavily dependent on “trends” as some of the more commercially focused designers in the US, one thing I did notice popping up on more than a few runways were cropped jackets. Suit jackets, sport jackets, parkas and everything in between, if you are starting your sewing for spring 2012 (or even for now) make sure to toss in a cropped jacket or two to freshen up your look.

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Hi/Low Dressing

No, this doesn’t mean mixing your Vuitton with your H&M. Rather this hi/low (otherwise known as “the mullet”) takes a slanted look at tops, dresses and skirts. Short in the front and long in the back, designers like Antonio Berardi and Tamara and Natasha Surguladze of Tata Naka spun the idea into an ethereal, romantic look while the ladies behind Sass & Bide whipped up hi/low pieces in bright colors and fun fabric for an edgier effect. What do you think of this look?

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Super-sized Florals

Florals are synonymous with springtime and these oversized, hyper-colored versions are the perfect way to celebrate the season. Whether you’re drawn to Mary Katrantzou’s realistic blossoms, or the more abstract floral patterns from Peter Pilotto, start stocking up on super-saturated floral fabric now!

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Heavy Metals

Strike it rich in gold, silver, champagne. While we might be still climbing our way out of a recession, fashion is thinking about luxury and what better way to fake-it-til-you-make-it than with a heavy does of metallics. Who needs expensive jewelry when you can swath yourself in precious metal hues? Would you rock this head-to-toe, or do you prefer to use metallics as an accent?

NOTE: If you’re sewing with thick metallic and brocade fabric, stock up on Amann Group Mettler’s Poly Sheen Multi® thread. It’s perfect for heavy-duty sewing and has a brilliant range of rich colors that will match whatever luxurious fabric you choose.

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Boyish Charms

Menswear for women has always been one of the main themes that I’ve based my wardrobe around and I often find myself buying things from the boy’s department or stealing pants and shirts from my boyfriend’s closet in the never ending attempt to capture just the right balance between the masculine and the feminine. For the upcoming spring season, try a pair of hip-slung pants and a perfectly fitted button up shirt to create your own fashion gender balance and top off the look with a razor sharp blazer or slim trench coat.

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What were your favorite looks from London Fashion Week? Are there any British designers (past or present) who influence your sewing and designing?

Speaking of London, the amazing Knitting and Stitching Show returns to the city October 6th – 9th and Amann Group Metter will be there hosting a booth alongside some of the most fantastic textile manufacturers, manipulators and creators in Europe. If you’re attending the show, make sure to stop by stand L19 and say hello to the Amann Group Mettler crew!

13 Comments

  • Model_nov_2003a_large

    Sep 28, 2011, 12.48 PMby WagDoll

    I love the cropped jackets, metallic and menswear looks, but think I’ll give the hi-low and wacky florals a miss.

  • Burdaavatar_large

    Sep 28, 2011, 11.12 AMby scgeraci

    I don’t know how I feel about those florals, but I’m on board with the cropped jackets and metalics.

  • Missing

    Sep 28, 2011, 09.11 AMby allimar

    Oh I love it SOOOO much that great Aussie designers are featuring on the world fashion stage. SO PROUD of the Sass & Bide girls. YOU GO!!

  • Avatar3_large

    Sep 26, 2011, 09.39 AMby carottesauvage

    Gilles Deacon’s cool. I have noticed, or I am probably wrong, that the last years BStyle has primally focused on NY or London fashion weeks… considering a ‘fashion week’ nearly takes place every fornight and BS members from all over the world could blog their reports. Is the world that small? Economical bias?:/ Updates on Milan, Paris, Antwerp, Istanbul etc…etc…would be great!

  • Meprofilebarn_large

    Sep 25, 2011, 04.47 PMby Justine of Sew Country Chick

    Funny the hi low dressing reminds me of Anya’s outfit on Project Runway a couple weeks back.

  • Cotton_voile_smock_1__large

    Sep 25, 2011, 10.01 AMby avjames

    Loving the cropped jackets and I like the high-low. I’m about to do a Kaftan top for the Australian summer so might try and incorporate the highlow idea!

  • 2004_toni_large

    Sep 24, 2011, 10.50 PMby ndimi

    Unfortunately, the only “look” out of all these mentioned that would suit realistically sized women is the last “menswear for women” one. The others all look great, but unless you have 8% body fat and delicious gams, you’re going to look… um… fat. I’d give a lot to be able to wear a hi/low or a cropped jacket. :(

    Nice article, though, thanks for showing us these lovely outfits.

    4 Replies
    • Fase_large

      Sep 24, 2011, 11.17 PMby themisslinds

      ooooo a hi/low jacket would be great and, I think, a much more classic way to pull off that look

    • 2004_toni_large

      Sep 24, 2011, 11.33 PMby ndimi

      What a terrific idea! Thank you.

    • Fase_large

      Sep 25, 2011, 12.54 AMby themisslinds

      i like this leather one – the hi/low hem is subtle.

      http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/veda-stevie-high-low-hem-leather-jacket/3213339

      I don’t think it should be too difficult to tweak the hem of a jacket pattern to mimic it. I say this with no experience trying it myself though :)

    • F0da497b5f1e6204e9858a35b2603ef00cdb41de_large

      Sep 28, 2011, 08.29 PMby choctawcharli

      I am a “full figured” woman and have been wearing hi/low for several years! I am full busted and have heavy arms, but slim hips and gorgeous gams! Hi/low is a terrific way to show off my great features while keeping my less attractive ones “under wraps”.
      LOL!

  • P4010345_large

    Sep 24, 2011, 05.58 AMby pambox

    interesting article, but sass and bide are australian, not british.

    1 Reply
    • Cotton_voile_smock_1__large

      Sep 25, 2011, 10.02 AMby avjames

      True, but they are exhibiting at London Fashion week :-)

    • This is a question
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