Cutting edge

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 16 March, 2008, 12:00am

Big names such as McQueen or McCartney tend to abandon London fashion week in favour of Paris, leaving behind edgy young designers who add eccentricity to the capital's shows.

Giles Deacon took time out from his day jobs at Daks and Fay (part of the Tod's group) to produce a collection imbued with plenty of graphic and witty ideas. Inspired by the horror stories of Edgar Allen Poe, Deacon's femme fatales appeared in beautiful slashed black dresses, navy versions with star-shaped cut-outs and frayed red organza gowns (right, top).

Christopher Kane's mesmerising collection of Aran knits, armour-embroidered cardigans and watery chiffon gowns over giant paillettes (centre, top) was inspired by Vita Sackville-West's novel Orlando. Marios Schwab amazed us with a scissoring technique that opened up stretchy tubular dresses to reveal layers of finely printed georgette (right, bottom). The only hiccup was hobble hems that slowed the models - not a collection for lumpy ladies in a hurry.

Ever the showman, Gareth Pugh produced weirdly wonderful samurai coats made of zips and outfits constructed from safety-pins (far right). However, his stretch dresses appliqued with geometric leather shapes suggest he is thinking commercially.

With a background in menswear, Todd Lynn, former stylist to rock stars such as Mick Jagger, is a slick cutter of great pantsuits (centre, bottom) for men and women - and a pragmatist. Louise Goldin, meanwhile, uses wizardry to take knitwear out of the comfort zone, crafting challenging silhouettes in geometric and pixillated patterns.

These designers are what make London so original and interesting.