September 20th, 2012 / posted by paularath

Dress by Mary Katrantzou

As London Fashion Week comes to a close, it’s evident that many of the Spring/Summer 2013 collections have more of an island vibe than an urban vibe. Colors are bold, whites are ubiquitous, there’s lots of skin showing and even tropical flowers and a cacophony of parrots appear in prints.

Here are some of the collections that caught my eye.

I’ve been watching  Mary Katrantzou for a number of years now. Her work with stunning prints has grown exponentially as digital prints have enabled her to do some amazing engineering. She creates simple shapes (shifts, sheaths, A-lines) to allow her complex prints to shine. Always offering a clear theme and vision,  this season she’s all about bank notes and stamps.

Did you know that Neiman Marcus Ala Moana has recently added her line to their second floor designer collections? Take a peek. The prints will amaze and confound you. How does she do it?

Under the deft hand of Christopher Bailey, Savillle Row meets the street for Burberry Prorsum. His Spring/Summer 2013 collection is a nod to the 1940s, with peplums (yes, they’re around for another season), pencil skirts, capes, corsets and kick pleats.

Bailey has also taken the classic trench in a new direction, dripping with color and texture.

Trench coat details on a stunning suit


Little capelets were added to all styles of clothes

And long capes were Bailey's favorite outer layer

Green is here for another season - hooray!

Issa by Daniella Issa Helayel employs digital art on fabric to great effect. The Brazilian native takes us to an imagined Amazonian garden, complete with orchids in the models’ hair.

Notice the Jams World vibe of this dress?


A spectacular interpretation of the orchid as art.

Nicole Farhi, one of my favorite London designers, was inspired by the marble mountains of Italy where sculptors from all over the world go to find the perfect stone. She translates the stone into sculptural shapes and rich textures, with some influences of Greek draping.

It’s clear that white is going to be hot for Spring/Summer 2013.


Nicole Farhi gives a great drape to the classic trench.

Temperley London is all about a “Return to Elegance,” the theme for the Spring/Summer 2013 fashion show. The little ’50s sundresses would look so hot in Honolulu!

There’s a ’50s vibe to the ultra-feminine collection with simple lines but complex construction elements. The diaphanous silk organza with strips of solidity is so fresh and new!

A surprising (and elegant) touch of Asia.

Sass & Bide, the design firm headed up by two Aussies, Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton, drew inspiration – and energy – for their latest collection from their travels in Peru and Argentina.

There are some decidedly Art Deco influences, precise and controlled. I also see some Great Gatsby inspiration, which I expect to see a lot more of as the remake of the movie approaches.

The big news from Sass & Bide is that they will open their first U.S. store, a flagship in New York City, in the spring of 2013.

– Paula Rath

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