A surprise at Ozwald Boateng's 25th birthday

Savile Row tailor Ozwald Boateng closed London Fashion Week in spectacular style with a 100-model showcase at the Leicester Square Odeon to celebrate 25 years in menswear and his casualwear debut....and it was awesome.

Yes. Awesome. Boateng is not a name I would expect to be at the forefront of thurst quenching menswear design. 

Sharp tailoring techniques, contemporary cuts and a bold use of colour, yes, but it was his grasp of directional and contemporary casualwear that took me by surprise.

Boateng showcased his first ever collection of casual wear for autumn 10, and this LFW presentation featured styles from that collection, and new spring 11 styles. It was a broad and varied range (some people have criticised him for that), but true to Boateng's ego...the show was on a grand scale.

One hundred male models including Sam Branson, son of Sir Richard Branson and Tyrone Wood, son of Rolling Stone Ronnie, walked out en masse in the accomplished and varied designs.

The collection featured original takes on modern day tailoring such as directional short and suit jacket sets, heritage, hunting-inspired velvet trouser suits teamed with full length DB macs and the inspired use of quilting against tailoring. Colours were bold, in keeping with Boateng’s handwriting, while standout silhouettes included high waisted tailored trousers which were paired with antique pocket chains. 

Boateng stuck fast to his themes of hunting, 1950s New York gangster, Victorian back street surgeon, city slicker, retro mod and others, so even though there were 100 looks the show felt awe inspiring, rather than overwhelming.

Summer suiting for a new generation

Love lime lining detail

Inspired use of quilting against tailoring

Hunting meets military. This is how I would dress if I were a boy

Sam Branson in sparkle thread tux

The finale

The finale

Ozwald Boateng and his father

Lucy in Disguise

On the way to menswear designer James Small's fashion week party last night, I passed by Lucy in Disguise, the vintage buy or hire shop set up by Lily Allen and her sister Sarah Owen.

I was drawn in by the spangly shelves filled with vintage fare from the 1920s right up to pieces from the 1990s. The mix of eras results in beaded charleston dresses and drop waist gowns sitting prettily alongside 90s puffa patchwork bombers and powerful Escada blazers, fit for any alpha female.

The store could do with more shoes but that's because I'm a sucker for a pre-worn pair of 60s courts.

The swing tags have both the hire and for sale price on so you can pick whether to buy or borrow. The hire period is a standard two days, but you can extend it if you fall in love.

There's a little chill out area where blokes can kick back on a couch and flick through a vintage Vogue or two while lady friends stock up in this Aladdin's cave of one-off finds.

Lucy in Disguise, 10 Kings Street, Covent Garden, London

Asos Man Day


Asos has launched an intiative today to bring clothes from the menswear day catwalks at London Fashion Week to it's cyber shelves within minutes of each show closing.

The menswear day at LFW kicks of this morning and Asos has teamed up five British designers from the LFW schedule to deliver 19 pieces direct from catwalk.

Product from designer labels Unconditional, Katy Eary, James Long, Carolyn Massey and Tim Soar will be sold online after each show, almost six months before designs are available anywhere else.

Pieces by Unconditional including a draped double layer waistcoat, cotton, slim-leg trousers and patent lace up ankle boots are online now.

MAN Day The Line Up

9.00 Lou Dalton, Portico Rooms, Somerset House
9.00 - 11.00 Hardy Aimes, WC2
9.45 Topman Design, WC2
11.00 Christopher Shannon, BFC Show Space, Somerset House
11.00 JW Anderson, BFC Show Space
11.30 E Tautz, Navy Boardrooms, Somerset House
11.30-13.00 Sibling, Portico Rooms
12.30 MAN, WC2
13.00-17.00 NewGen Men and Fashion East Men Installations, The Terrace, Somerset House
14.00 James Long BFC Show Space
15.15 Carolyn Massey Portico Rooms
15.45 KTZ, BFC Show Space
16.15 Tim Soar, Fashion Scout, Freemasons Hall, WC2
16.30-18.00 A.Sauvage Film Presentation TBC

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Lee Alexander McQueen memorial

London Fashion Week paused on day four to pay respect to Lee Alexander McQueen at a memorial service at St Paul's cathedral today.

McQueen's family, friends and industry figures gathered in the Cathedral to remember the designer and his creative genius.

American Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, had written a tribute celebrating the designer's life and career.

"There was no comfort zone with Alexander McQueen," she began, before recalling vivid memories of the designer, from the beginnings of his career when Wintour said she was frustrated by the young designer's disdain for American Vogue, to the height of his career when Wintour would be invited to preview the collections created by the "complex and gifted young man".

Wintour told of how, as a child McQueen, spent hours sitting atop his tower block home watching birds fly over head. She ended her reading: "Alexander has left us an exceptional legacy. He was a brilliant, extraordinary and inspirational talent that soared like the birds of his boyhood above us all."

Long term friends of the designer, models Kate Moss, and Naomi Campbell were in the congregation. Singer Bjork performed a haunting version of Gloomy Sunday dressed as a McQueen paper angel. The London Community Gospel Choir also performed before the service ended with Scottish pipers leading out the congregation.

Alexander Lee McQueen died on February 11, 2010.

Visit www.drapersonline.com for the full story.

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LFW Yang Du

Yang Du has worked alongside John Galliano and Giles Deacon since graduating from Central St Martins. She launched her own surrealist label in 2009 and like Atalanta Weller and JW Anderson she is supported by the New Gen Intiative. Her SS11 collection is straight up kooky and signature over sized tee shirt dresses feature mischievous eyes.....

LFW JW Anderson

Designer JW Anderson screened a psychedelic show at London Fashion Week today entitled 'The Devoured and I'. He used moving image to translate his collection and worked with tight silhouettes, tulle tops and dip dye and hand crocheted doilies. Like so many designers this season he worked with, or was sponsored by Swarovski, but crystals were used on footwear and accessories, which is so much nicer than seeing crystals splattered incoherantly over dresses as some designers have done. See below.

LFW NewGen Atalanta Weller

In between London Fashion Week shows I headed to the NEWGEN space at the beautiful Somerset House on London's Strand. The designers occupied individual beach hut like showrooms and the atmosphere was so upbeat. Here's just a taster. See the magazine for more.

Atalanta Weller

This season Atalanta is working with knitwear designer Craig Lawrence on the shoes for his show, having worked with designers like House of Holland in the past. Here are some shoes from Atalanta's diverse SS11 collection. Geometric sandals with hidden wedge and tribal slingback and fierce gold wedges standout.

Olivia Rubin

Ready to wear designer Olivia Rubin has shot her SS11 look book. Here's my edit, Olivia will be showing at the LFW Exhibtion this week.

House of Holland

I'm back from my holiday tanned and chilled and ready for LFW!

First stop today was House of Holland to get a sneak preview of SS11. The collection is my favourite from the designer so far ... but I can't give anything away before Saturday's show!! Here's the happy, cool, calm and collected HoH team beavering away in a very dark photo from my inadequate iPhone.

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