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The 10 Most Critically Acclaimed Shows of London Fashion Week

So, OK, that was the darkest London Fashion Week we've seen in awhile. If you're not quite sure what came over British designers, flash back with Report Card now through for the spots of black gold, like, for instance, when Tom ford said "Kapow!"
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So, OK, that was the darkest London Fashion Week we've seen in awhile. If you're not quite sure what came over British designers, flash back with Report Card now through for the spots of black gold, like, for instance, when Tom ford said "Kapow!"

Eilish Macintosh Designer: Eilish Macintosh

  • "You can already imagine Alexa Chung in one of her elegant and quirky-without-being-silly dresses." [

    The Daily Telegraph]

  • "Eilish Macintosh took a step towards fashion greatness tonight as she was awarded the L’Oreal Bursary Award at the Central Saint Martins MA show by one of the prestigious fashion college’s most famous alumni: Christopher Kane." []
  • "Remember her name. Even though the rope work over plain long black dresses that kick-started the evening’s proceedings, at times tangling by the models’ feet or asphyxiating one’s face like an S&M mask, probably had a point to make about female sexuality and bondage ... it was her use of rope as the stitching holding together the patent leather jackets and baggy trousers that followed that showed real talent." [SHOWstudio]
  • "Macintosh impressed with two collections this evening--first a simple selection of black dresses enlaced and encased with cords of rope around the body. It was a simple but effective idea. The rope was then replaced with frame decorations on strategically placed parts of the body--the bust and the derriere for controlled peek-a-boo moments." [ UK]
  • "There was a macramé-meets-bondage look to these, especially with provocative portholes located over and under bosoms, and in the center of buttocks. [WWD]

Marques’Almeida Designers: Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida

  • "Marques'Almeida, the fledgling and brilliant sportswear line designed by Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, saw a maturation in fabrics and silhouette for autumn." [Artinfo]
  • "This season, Marques Almeida set her a challenge to walk up the red carpet. Out of her denim comfort zone, she keeps her edge in frayed silk dupion--oversized trousers worn with a ponyskin biker jacket." [

    The Daily Telegraph]

  • "Today saw Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida continue their love affair with all things 90′s. Confidently evolving their sophisticated take on grunge they combined baggy skater silhouettes in raw silk with lean layered pony hair, whilst also managing to make triple frayed denim look like a very viable option for autumn/winter 13." [i-D Online]
  • "Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida have been developing that shredded-edge technique since they were at Central Saint Martins, working toward their master’s degrees under Professor Louise Wilson. What she teaches is the fashion version of 'To thine own self be true.' ... There’s no fast-track to fame and fortune in this industry, but funnily enough, in our era of oversaturation of imagery, having one message, one product—and sticking to it—can earn a designer a nice little niche." []
  • "Today it really came together for a collection that moved them on leaps and bounds and made us think that yes, actually wearing skirts over trousers was and is once again going to be a good idea (let the idea sink in a bit, take a look at this collection and then you'll be sold)." [ UK]

L'Wren Scott Designer: L'Wren Scott

  • "Vegas sparkle with a New York sensibility." [The Cut/

    New York Magazine]

  • "These are classic, tailored outfits with a touch of vamp." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "On the menu: shepherd’s pie. On the models: 23-carat gilded shoes and tattoos, as well as curve-hugging gold-accented sheaths and skirts and gowns." []
  • "Scott introduced the British fashion industry to the concept of the shlunch: a show at which lunch is served. (Brunch? So last year.)" [The Guardian]
  • "Known as an architect of clean lines, rather than fancy adornment, this first L’Wren show in London caught the upbeat spirit of her partner Mick Jagger’s city. (He was front row.)" [International Herald Tribune]
  • "Shortly before guests arrived for L’Wren Scott’s dinner on Sunday evening at Café Royal, Nicole Kidman appeared at a London screening of her new film 'Stoker' in the designer’s cobalt wool dress with a gold collar, the same look shown that afternoon on Ms. Scott’s runway. ... The rest of Ms. Scott’s collection displayed a sure-footed sense of what gets attention." [On The Runway/The New York Times]
  • "Even though L'Wren Scott knew what her clothes looked like when she booked the grand hall of the Institute of Engineers for her show venue, the symbiosis of location and collection was one of those perfect synchronicities where the whole added up to much more than the sum of its parts." []
  • "The gilding of the L’Wren lily worked out stunningly in her more special pieces. There was a sensational pailletted shimmy dress in three shades of gold, scalloped edging in black, suspended on nude tulle." []
  • "It was disco, it was Seventies and it was rock 'n' roll all in one--her woman has the Midas touch and glitters in gold." [ UK]
  • "A designer seeking opulence, color and texture could find no better confluence of references than Gustav Klimt and his patron Adele Bloch-Bauer, whose gilded portrait he famously painted twice. L’Wren Scott spun the work of artist and client into gold, quite literally." [WWD]

Mary Katrantzou Designer: Mary Katrantzou

  • "Impeccable structure turned Katrantzou's prints 3D, while out-of-character etched black leather proved a satisfying palette cleanser." [The Cut/

    New York Magazine]

  • "The somewhat darker palette of grays, blacks, and golds was a lovely departure from the neon hues in the designer's Spring collection, though the selection of striking, unconventional pieces remained the same." [FabSugar]
  • "A collection that was as powerful and moody as storm clouds gathering on a gray Winter day." [fashionologie]
  • "Marvellously melancholy." []
  • "Ms. Katrantzou’s show was one of those heart-stopping moments when fashion goes beyond the commercial or the attractive to embrace art." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "Her show notes introduced the idea that this might be a more restrained collection. Katrantzou the…*shudder*…reductionist? Heavens forbid. ... It takes a lot of to restrain yourself from going further and adding more when you’re as talented, imaginative and technology-adept as Katrantzou clearly is." [SHOWstudio]
  • "Color or no, Katrantzou's fantastical, shadowy landscapes still seduced, with the added poignant allure of the melancholy that inevitably attaches itself to misty monochrome." []
  • "It seemed Mary Katrantzou deliberately threw herself at everything that doesn’t come naturally to her this season: dourness of color, reduction of print, absence of trompe l’oeil wit." []
  • "A new darker, sophisticated and slightly sinister direction." [ UK]
  • "Whether on the back of a PR girl’s clipboard or on the willowy frame of a Russian blogger, Mary Katrantzou’s kaleidoscopic, photo-based prints are unmistakable--and can be overwhelming. Which is why her fall collection ... should open her fashion universe to a broader clientele, including the still-enamored-with-black fashion pack." [WWD]

Burberry Prorsum Designer: Christopher Bailey

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  • "Christopher Bailey laid down the marker with a show that the British designer later described as 'a little bit sexy, a little bit Establishment.'" [AFP]
  • "Burberry’s creative director, Bailey, has taken its classic trench coats on safari for a makeover." [AP]
  • "Burberry was unlike anything we could have imagined. Which is exactly as we imagined." [The Daily Beast]
  • "The materials that rained down upon Burberry's runway, from ponyhair and neoprenes to tassles and metal embellishments, stepped outside the proverbial Burberry box." [Daily Front Row]
  • "Christopher Bailey stormed it yet again with an epic show on London Fashion Week's so-called Super Monday that was nothing short of exquisite." [

    The Daily Mail]

  • "Christopher Bailey abandoned his usual mournful, romantic vibe for a harder, sexier one. Translucent rubber pencil skirts and trench coats with metal embellishments and dainty, pointed wedges tapped into the paradox that was Keeler: one part sex kitten, two parts Little Miss Prim." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "This was Christopher Bailey on top form--a gutsy collection of future classics, as polished and luxurious as you might expect from the Burberry power house. From Burberry's creative director, sealed with a kiss." []
  • "This was an extremely sleek and focussed show and one that took the references to fetish that have been seen elsewhere (Jonathan Saunders, Erdem and Vivienne Westwood of course looked at that) to rather more upscale heights." [Grazia Daily]
  • "Should there be anyone watching at home who still does not feel the love – not only are the heart-print handbags available to order directly from the livestreaming of this show, but online customisation enables them to be delivered monogrammed with the customer's initials." [The Guardian]
  • "Bailey's love of the new has led Burberry to pioneer digital technology, but this season the focus was on young singer-songwriter Tom Odell, who performed the soundtrack to the show on a grand piano." [The Independent]
  • "Mr. Bailey is to be admired for his slick and lively shows, season after season, keeping Burberry on the high road--right up to cyberspace." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "Both elements—the classic and the sexy—were not handled with any flair or surprise by Mr. Bailey. It was a packaged deal." [On The Runway/The New York Times]
  • "A whimsical collection." [Reuters]
  • "After more than a decade of taking inspiration from the company's noble heritage, his own cultural icons, and the small tribe of pretty young things who populate Burberry's ads, it's time for Bailey to get down and get ever so slightly dirty. " []
  • "The animal prints—jaguar, giraffe, leopard—also ran the gamut from brassy to classy and were especially chic printed on sheared fur as soft as velvet." []
  • "Valentine's Day might have been and gone but that doesn't mean the romance can't be rekindled or prolonged--not if Christopher Bailey has anything to do with it." [ UK]
  • "There’s gold in them thar hills or, in the case of Burberry, in the green expanse of Hyde Park--where the brand staged a show with plenty of shine." [WWD]

Christopher Kane Designer: Christopher Kane

  • "Everything from skirts and coats in blue camouflage prints, barely-decent dresses made of large, lace-like flower and coil designs, and elegant shifts in blue and black velvet." [AFP]
  • "Kane’s latest display was so diverse and included so many creative themes that it seemed like several collections rolled into one." [AP]
  • "A show full of energy, awash in fur, velvet, luxe combat prints and delicious deep plums and purples." [

    The Daily Beast]

  • "With his new boss, PPR's Francois-Henri Pinault front and center, Kane debuted a militant collection showcasing his chameleon-like qualities." [Daily Front Row]
  • "Given his small team of 25, and higgledy-piggledly quarters, the size and ambition of this latest collection was astonishing." [The Daily Telegraph]
  • "As the collection(s) built, in complexity and inventiveness, the atmosphere crackled with electricity, just as his fifth and final chapter marched out: a pair of black trousers worn with a t-shirt printed with a multi-coloured image of an MRI scan of a brain--that’s right, a brain--followed by ‘electric shock’ dresses, seemingly fabricated from fine black wires and copper circuit board coils." []
  • "It's the kind of craftsmanship that literally drops jaws coming down the runway." [FabSugar]
  • "If Christopher Kane is feeling a new kind of pressure now that he's under the PPR umbrella, his Fall 2013 collection certainly didn't show it. In fact, the broad-shouldered army he sent down the runway looked pretty darn confident--and tough enough to handle any extra expectations the designer's new luxury backing might hold." [fashionologie]
  • ""I just wanted to do a really beautiful show," he said. And that it most certainly was." [Grazia Daily]
  • "This is what grace under pressure looks like." [The Guardian]
  • "'The brain works in mysterious ways,' Christopher Kane said after his London Fashion Week show today." [The Independent]
  • "What a fashion brain the designer must have to have conceived all these original ideas, executed them in his tiny East London studio and offered them as a gift to his new owner, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of the luxury group PPR." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "Dr. Frankenstein has become something of an unwitting mentor to Christopher Kane." []
  • "Christopher Kane never knows where his brain waves come from. Maybe that’s why after his extraordinarily idea-packed collection he was telling people that he’d been looking at an MRI brain scan while his synapses were firing away about camouflage prints, big coats and jackets, kilts, feathers, velvet, and lace." []
  • "In the past Kane has been noted for his signatureless signature--each time he does something so very different but each time so very brilliant and him--so it made sense to bring all of these chapters together and line them up. And they still made sense." [ UK]
  • "Brain-activity scans served as a quirky print on black dresses--and an apt symbol for Kane’s prolific idea factory." [WWD]

Erdem Designer: Erdem Moralioglu

  • "London designer Erdem Moralioglu has garnered a long list of fans with his delicate, ice cream-colored floral dresses, but this season he decided to put a darker twist on his romantic style." [AP]
  • "This was a collection full of beauty and a lightness of touch not easy to pull of within the confines of a strict Edwardian silhouette and a colour palette focusing mainly on black." [

    The Daily Telegraph]

  • "The show had more of a dramatic, femme-fatale feel to it that we’ve come to expect from Erdem. But it felt like an accomplished and sophisticated leap forward--and we loved it." []
  • "We couldn't have imagined a more beautiful kind of mood swing." [FabSugar]
  • "The darkly gorgeous Fall 2013 collection the designer presented in London Monday was a welcome reminder that the designer is still quite adept at mixing prettiness with edge." [fashionologie]
  • "When we heard the opening notes of the symphonic score to Hitchcock's The Birds we realised we weren't in for a typical Erdem show." [Grazia Daily]
  • "In the past, the designer has seemed a little too polite, not quite raw enough for the London scene. But this collection had more sexual heft." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "As the show rolled on, it became increasingly clear that black has at least as many shades as gray, and Erdem's vaunted facility with fabrics offered him a means to explore them all." []
  • "'I’ve always been quite afraid of the color black in my work,' said Erdem Moralioglu backstage before unveiling his ravishing collection, 'but I liked the idea of doing ‘uncomfortable,’ reacting against myself—and seeing how many shades of black I could get in my show!'" []
  • "It really was the use of black combined with wearable and wantable clothes that stepped this up a level for Erdem and had everyone's hearts all a flutter all over again." [ UK]
  • "For all the black, there was a fine use of color, too--pale pink, burgundy and a single bright acid green used sparingly and to potent effect." [WWD]

Tom Ford Designer: Tom Ford

  • "The former Gucci kingpin conjured up a vibrant spectacle, characterised by luxurious furs, flashes of fuchsia and purple along with slinky black eveningwear and pop-art inspired sequined designs." [AFP]
  • "The outfits were not revealing but very feminine and flattering." [AP]
  • "An explosively brilliant show crammed full of stye, panache, intelligence, and wit." [The Daily Beast]
  • "The outfits were demure without being dull, feminine and flattering without being twee (never a word you'd hear mentined in the same breath as Tom Ford, that's for sure)." [

    The Daily Mail]

  • "Wild, crazy, graphic-printed, and eye-catching: Tom Ford's Fall '13 collection--the first public runway debut of his eponymous line--is a clearly defined departure from minimalism and a serious rebel yell to all-out decadence." [FabSugar]
  • "Ford likes to have fun, and if any one adjective describes this show, that's it." [fashionologie]
  • "Owed more to the tropes of red-carpet glamour than to the current brutalist-chic, bench-in-an-office-block fashion-week aesthetic. What's more, the clothes paid not the barest lipservice to current catwalk memes: no kilt-pins, no beanies, no flat shoes, just sumptuous evening gowns, ornate tailoring and luxurious coats, maximalist in aesthetic but sharply executed." [The Guardian]
  • "In the collection's OTT essence, you could sense some defiance on Ford's part. After all, he's back in a race he wrote off as "rat" seven years ago. But damn it if he's not going to try and do it his way, one more time." []
  • "American designer Tom Ford unveiled his womenswear line to the world on Monday in a lavish London Fashion Week debut that will help seal the city's credentials as a major international fashion hub." [Reuters]
  • "Glam rock met pop art in an ornate British palace in St James, courtesy of Mr. Tom Ford, tonight. It was, effectively, his first fully public comeback runway show since he founded his own label—and it hit an exuberant none-too-serious note." []
  • "Subtlety was ruled out from the start. For his grand reentrance to the formal fashion schedule, Tom Ford booked Lancaster House, a historic former home of English aristocrats. It was by far the most impressive venue on the London circuit. The room was waiting to be wowed, which is what Ford knows how to do." [WWD]

Meadham Kirchhoff Designers: Edward Meadham and Ben Kirchhoff

  • "There was no dancing at Meadham Kirchoff this season, or party or music, or glitter for that matter. Instead, a beautiful, and at times rather grown-up, collection was shown to a sombre, violin-stringed soundtrack." [

    The Daily Telegraph]

  • "Of course, Meadham Kirchhoff always do real clothes, it’s just that sometimes they can be hard to spot. Not so this season." []
  • "As a series of beautifully sombre looks took to the catwalk, you couldn't help getting swept away in the moment." [Grazia Daily]
  • "In the austere concrete drama of The Tanks at Tate Modern, the epic journey of Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff continues apace… my lady is Blanch Du Bois with a touch of Death In Venice." [i-D Online]
  • "There was a sexual twist to the outfits, with French maid collars and a sense that something strange was going on behind veiled heads." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "[A] transporting, neo-Victoriana show." [NOWFASHION]
  • "This collection was easier to translate than previous shows and will have a real life off the catwalk and out of the story book." [SHOWstudio]
  • "This season, in other words, Meadham Kirchhoff slammed the door on its brand's brief jubilant era." []
  • "The lack of ambient distraction and high concept gave the audience a chance to drink in the outstanding beauty of Meadham Kirchhoff’s individual pieces." []
  • "It was a journey through history in only the way this duo, Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff, can and do." [ UK]
  • "While it had a sinister edge, it was one of the best outings so far from Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff." [WWD]

Simone Rocha Designer: Simone Rocha

  • "A proportions-tinkering journey rife with some impracticalities (supersheer nude skirting or leopard PVS shifts, anyone?) and peppered with sweet detailing (veiled bows in the hair; funky flatforms or oxfords on the pieds)." [Daily Front Row]
  • "'It was a tribute to both my grannies,' said Simone Rocha backstage after her show. They've gotta be some proud ladies. Chic too, by the looks of it." [

    The Daily Telegraph]

  • "You might imagine this collection, based on two old ladies, to look retro. But this is Rocha’s great skill, being able to translate these personal stories--all of her collections are autobiographical--into clothes that pulse with modernity and resonate with hip young girls." []
  • "Grandma chic has very rarely looked this good." [fashionologie]
  • "Rocha's opening looks set the tone for a strong collection, which, despite being based on the designer's grannies, felt clean and cool." [The Guardian]
  • "Granny chic was combined with girly glamour." [i-D Online]
  • "Charming." [International Herald Tribune]
  • "An invigorating blend of old-world styling meets new-world attitude." [Refinery29]
  • "With her father, designer John Rocha, sat proudly on front row and her mother dressed top to toe in SR designs backstage, Simone Rocha's latest collection, entitled 'Respect your Elders', certainly lived up to its name." [SHOWstudio]
  • "There was an aura of tentative sexiness that felt new, and a clutch of looks that had a rather adult tone of matter-of-factness. But none of this felt like a leap so much as an incremental advance; bit by bit, the Rocha gamine is growing up." []
  • "What she does has immense charm and freshness, but this girl’s no princess." []
  • "It's the way that Rocha handles these pieces and ideas that keeps her interesting, young and fresh--there's a kooky and brilliant awkwardness that caters to a London girl's stylistic sensibility: she wears a prim and pretty dress but she wears it with glitter brogues (they came in pink and gold this season) or velvet loafers." [ UK]
  • "A charming ode to her elders." [WWD]