Trend Alert: London Fashion Week autumn/winter 2011

London Fashion Week belonged to the new generation as the digital-age designers dominated the catwalks and cyberspace with dazzling displays of creativity. While Vogue editors-in-chief from seven countries, international fashion commentators and buyers watched from the front rows, the world was watching “live” on the internet.

Burberry streamed its show live to 150 countries from a digital screen in Piccadilly Circus. Commuters got daily updates on screens at more than 60 stations on the London Underground. People without show tickets chilled out at the open-air café on the cobblestones at Somerset House, LFW’s fashion HQ, and watched the catwalk action live on an outdoor screen.

The buzz of high-tech activity was more than matched by the technical virtuosity on the catwalks. Christopher Kane engineered a liquid-look plastic into the seams and contours of his slimline sequinned and crocheted dresses. Mary Katrantzou gave Italian knitters nightmares as they laboured to translate her digital prints of Fabergé eggs and Meissen porcelain into cashmere and Lurex jacquard knitwear. Giles Deacon based a dramatic print on Paul Delaroche’s The Execution of Lady Jane Grey . Holly Fulton sprinkled her New York-skyscraper prints with pearls, metal and pleated leather.

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