London fashion week trends

Blanket coverage

The trend for blanket-like checks, textures and shapes is guaranteed to create a warm fuzzy feeling – literally and metaphorically. Whether designed to cocoon against real chills or economic ones, practically every type of blanket was referenced on the London catwalks, down to the bright red, fleeced-wool bed jacket at Betty Jackson, which evoked a rather stylish electric blanket (plug not included). Safe-and-secure making, yes, but isn’t it also a bit, well, grannyish? “I wouldn’t say granny,” demurred Christopher Kane of his luxe cashmere crochet, hand-knitted by Johnstons in Scotland, “I’ve seen girls wearing crochet who look pretty hot.”

Layer upon layer

It was the stylists who got most excited about this trend, smug in the knowledge that come autumn, they’ll know how to pull off layering without looking lumpy and mismatched. When executed well – as it was at Jaeger and Aquascutum – this trend makes an outfit look individual and modern. And, yes, the ubiquitous long gilet really is the one magic piece to fastforward your wardrobe into autumn 2011. The ultimate in seasonless dressing, layering also allows – unlike a giant coat – for subtle adjustments in warmth. Think of it as a sartorial thermostat.

Print: wear your art on your sleeve

Autumn/winter’s most eye-catching prints referenced everything from photography to ceramics, enabling British designers to show off technical expertise and the fact that they had paid attention during A-level art. Erdem Moralioglu, aka London Fashion Week’s very own “Prints Charming”, mixed real paint on his clothing, on top of digitally manipulated paint effects. Meanwhile, rising star Mary Katrantzou imagined her models as “living works of art” – and indeed they looked like they were wearing Chinese vases and Fabergé eggs as skirts. This is not a trend to tip-toe around. Mix, match and clash with abandon.

For slideshows and complete daily coverage of all the autumn/winter 2011shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, go to

For the FT fashion blog, written by Vanessa Friedman, visit

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