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And you thought New York Fashion Week was a big deal! London Fashion Week is in full swing, and so far, the shows have impressed, offering star-studded front rows, technological advances and even a near-royal visit. Check out some of the highlights from the week’s biggest shows.
Promising a starry front row at London Fashion Week, the Burberry Prorsum show on Monday (above, left) did not disappoint. Sienna Miller, Kanye West and a current face of the brand, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, sat alongside Rachel Zoe, Gemma Arterton, tennis star Andy Murray, singer Paul Weller and photographer Mario Testino at Christopher Bailey’s spring/summer 2012 show in Kensington Gardens. Tribal-inspired print dresses were paired with cropped trenches and raffia caps in a collection that put a handcrafted artisan twist on ladylike chic.
“Oh my God, that was insanity!” gushed Zoe to PEOPLE as she headed backstage. “[Bailey is] amazing. I mean, who else makes a coat like that?” she added, referring to the “reinvention” of the classic Burberry trench.
Greeting his celebrity guests backstage, Bailey got a hug from photographer pal Testino, who told PEOPLE, “I thought it was a great show — sexy sexy sexy!” As no doubt did legions of fans who caught the show via Twitter, a first for the digital-friendly brand. “This collection is all about the most detailed hand-crafted pieces and fabric innovation, creating a beautiful physical experience that is communicated digitally in dynamic and diverse ways and I love balancing those two worlds,” said Bailey.
Meanwhile, Temperley London (above, center) got the royal seal of approval on Monday night when Pippa Middleton showed up to support one of her favorite British designers. Wearing the “classic fan dress” from the label’s current autumn/winter collection dressed down with black suede ankle boots, the rising fashion star certainly appeared to enjoy the show as she sat with a friend, pointing out her favorite pieces from the silver-screen inspired collection, shown in the British Museum’s dramatic grand atrium. (Grace Kelly was cited as an inspiration by the designer, as was Michelle Pfeiffer’s character in Scarface.)
As for Pippa, she seemed to love the silky jumpsuits, kimono capes and floor-sweeping dresses adorned in beads and tassels, all of which were accessorized with über-glam head wraps. “It was really special, really amazing,” she said, congratulating designer Alice Temperley’s husband and CEO of the label, Lars von Benningsen, on her way out.
Since commissioning a bespoke emerald-green Temperley London dress for the royal wedding after-party at Buckingham Palace in April, the label has become a go-to favourite for both Pippa and her sister Catherine.
In the hot seat, next to Middleton, was actress Rosario Dawson, currently enjoying the shows in between filming her new movie in London. “I thought it was really wonderful that she came here to support Alice and it makes sense that Pippa would be here because it’s such a London staple,” she told PEOPLE post-show. So did they swap fashion tips? “She seemed lovely and I think she enjoyed the clothes as well which is always nice to see.” Excited about the ultra-feminine, oh-so-graceful show, Dawson confessed, “I loved everything, I’m salivating and trying not to drool, honestly!”
Sunday night, Matthew Williamson (above, right presented a kaleidoscope of color at his spring/summer 2012 show. The first runway show to ever be staged in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, it boasted a front row consisting of pal Sienna Miller and Rachel Zoe.
Burnt oranges and vibrant yellow took center stage, as did the designer’s signature embellishment with semi-precious stones and feather detailing. Miller, in a Williamson jacket, skinny jeans and Tabitha Simmons heels, told PEOPLE the finale number, a floor-length saffron gown with appliqué detailing and ostrich feathers, was her favorite
“The orange dress on Anja [Rubik] at the end — I love that,” she shared. With a cheer and a hug for the designer at the after-party, held on the top floor of the museum with a view of St. Paul’s Cathedral, it was a fashionable fête all around.
–Monique Jessen and Dimi Gaidatzi