Designers tap into high-street demand for the quirky and cool

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 February, 2014, 9:37am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 February, 2014, 9:37am

London Fashion Week showed that it doesn't all have to be about fancy gowns. The famous street styles and fashion movements of the British capital mean that it has always embraced high-low mixes of street wear and young fashion. Most importantly, perhaps, is the British sense of humour that gives many labels a cool, quirky twist.

A case in point is the young, blonde shoe designer Sophia Webster - a talent who has gained major success in just a few seasons. Her poptastic, fun and flirty aesthetic has gained her a solid fashion set following. Bright colours are a must here, and for autumn Webster tapped into the tongue-in-cheek pop princesses of the '90s, mixing that Juicy Couture, chihuahua-toting set like Paris Hilton with the funk of Salt-n-Pepa. "Almost going towards bad taste," says one British journalist at the presentation. The result, nonetheless, was divinely fun and frivolous.

Handbag goddess Anya Hindmarch also put on a spectacular show in the style of a camp, rather funny, supermarket sweep. Dapper men danced on conveyor belts, ladies pushed shopping trolleys and brightly coloured bags were emblazoned with iconic British supermarket products like Daz detergent and Swan matches.

Tapping that profitable contemporary high-street market was the Topshop Unique show at the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern - another major hot ticket. You have to admire how Philip Green has managed to turn his high-street label into a fashion powerhouse: Kate Moss (who'll be soon unveiling another collaboration with the brand) was front row. Back to school separates, effortless layers, embroidered sheers and furs and lots of lovely utility backpacks - Topshop again nails the London cool kid uniform for next season.