After finishing the morning rounds it is time for a quick check in on what there is to see and what is grabbing the most attention. As a first note on trending this year, leather accents are everywhere. While it seemed like this was a big trend in menswear last year it has taken root with the ladies as well. Women’s trousers with cotton fronts and leather backs (a bit bizarre but quite nice).

Maria Francesca Pepe

Maria Francesca Pepe Presentation

Another plus- people definitely seem to be pushing the ethical angle wherever possible. We all know how bad greenwashing can be for industry and it will be no better for fashion, but the fact that so many brands are trying to market themselves as ethical at least shows there is demand for the ethical clothing market (a big plus for me and for fashion in general).

Newgen is where it’s at. The exhibition portion of the show features a number of high end designers and some middle of the table “not quite there yet” brands. But the newgen section is unbelievable and the future is looking very bright for British fashion. This initiative by the British Fashion Council was a great idea and is paying huge dividends. Favorites from the newgen section include: Mary Katranztzou, KTZ, Maria Francesca Pepe, Craig Lawrence and Christopher Raeburn.

Raeburn is a class guy to talk to and in his third season he is already being featured at Liberty’s (among others). His recycled military wear is absolutely sick. He has taken some normal shapes and turned them on their head by using bright transclucent recycled parachutes and chopped up and remixed felt and leather from 50’s motorcycle jackets. Raeburn was nothing short of a gentleman and quite encouraging to me as a young part-time designer.

Comfort Station, gorgeous jewelery led by an absolute sweetheart of a designer Amy Anderson, was another highlight of the show. Her jewelry is all made in London (right over on Brick Lane) and this season was inspired by “the impossible”. In addition to great gold and wood work, she has done some pretty bad ass stuff with laser cutting and etching as well. Look out for an interview either here or on an upcoming ethical fashion blog I’ll be guest posting for (more on that later).

I will be sure to throw up some more images once I can get my hands on some high-res versions and will offer a fuller outlook on some of these brands as well.

Next stop(s): The Designer Showcase, On/Off and the Belle Sauvage runway.