London Fashion Week, edition AW11 (18-22 Feb.), came to a close last week. Kicking off the event, Britain’s first lady, Samantha Cameron, hosted a party to celebrate the British fashion industry, with names such as Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Bailey, Philip Treacy and Claudia Schiffer studding the glittering guest list. Star designers and supermodels aside, organizers of London Fashion Week made sure not to exclude the public by live-streaming close to 40 catwalk shows. Not going about its live-steaming business quietly, tech maverick Burberry went as far as to show its 1960’s-inspired show on a 32 meter long screen in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, much to the joy of its loyal fan base as well as unsuspecting tourists passing by.

To offer a snapshot of what else was served up over the five days on London’s catwalks, New Gen designer JW Anderson stood out with an exceptionally strong and thrillingly subversive womenswear collection. The offering displayed the talent’s usual play on texture and subtle gender-bending, but with a more polished look in place than that of previous seasons, when a more ravaged air prevailed. Angora, quilted leather, latex, silk paisley and heavy wool, both plain and checked, were masterly juxtaposed to form a confident proposition with simple shapes at its base, such as round-necked jumpers, single-breasted coats, boyish slacks and pleated skirts. Mark our words, Jonathan William Anderson is an Irish boy wonder to be reckoned with as much in the womenswear stakes as on the menswear scene. Another collection worthy of praise, J JS Lee introduced nicely engineered knits to complement her signature line of minimal tailoring, which encompassed both womenswear and menswear for the first time.

Moving on to the established designer brigade, Paul Smith sent out a collection marked by his trademark masculine edge, but made more feminine with the infusion of elements such as Chinese embroidery. Making a visual impact on the catwalk, pretty things with ginger hair and porcelain skin dominated Sir Paul’s chosen model line-up. Mulberry’s salon presentations held at Claridge’s Ballroom are as legendary as the label’s parties. Always executed with outmost precision with set design to marvel at, the theme of the season took its cue from nature, where the animal kingdom played a pivotal role. Not forgetting the actual clothes, delicate, floor-skimming skirts and dresses were offset by chunkier outerwear, resulting in a look laden with that elusive quality forever associated with British style.