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London Fashion Week day 4: old-school revivals at Louise Gray, Burberry, Richard Nicoll, Osman and a family affair at Smythson

  |  September 18, 2012

The coloured metallic bags in shiny foiled leather from Burberry are a no-brainer. Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters
SUZANNE PLUNKETT
The coloured metallic bags in shiny foiled leather from Burberry are a no-brainer. Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters

Inevitably, the excitement around the Burberry show in Kensington Gore dominated the day. Ever since the brand moved back to London from Milan Fashion Week, it has been the week’s hot ticket. Seated on suede fold-up stools, with a silhouetted backdrop of Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and Nelson’s Column, the crowd liked what they saw: trenches reworked again and again, with versions in metallic leather, peacock feather and silk-cotton duchesse satin. The coloured metallic bags in shiny foiled leather are a no-brainer – and if you can’t wait until spring, you can order them straight from the catwalk until September 23 at www.burberry.com

Louise Gray and Richard Nicoll revisited sportswear, albeit in very different ways. Gray, with her Beastie Boys soundtrack and raver make-up, used bright colours and squiggle, newsprint and graffiti prints to create a mad-for-it late 80s revival. But, like the 1988 house track Took My Love Away that ended the show, beneath the remixing and beats there was a classic foundation, with nicely cut dresses in great colours that could sell like a dream.

Nicoll went for a much cleaner approach, in delicious preppy pastels that were combined with some skill. Mesh panels in intricately cut dresses looked sporty and functional, a synthetic taffeta added an edge to eveningwear and blocked or patterned shades of pale turquoise, grey marl, dusky purple and neon peach were summery and fresh.

Osman, as ever, went his own way, with his customary minimalism manifesting itself in rigid, almost moulded shapes in jackets and shorts, blocks of bright pink and blue colour and flashes of frivolity as with sunburst embroideries on a plain tunic and a repeated heart motif embroidered and appliquéd onto garments. The splendid Michael Nyman soundtrack was a touch portentous for this light collection, but it made a grand finale to the day.

Osman's show at London Fashion Week

Osman's show was a grand finale to the day. Tim Whitby / Getty Images

After all that, the only possible way to end the day was at the Smythson of Bond Street soirée held to celebrate 125 years of business by the luxury stationary and leathergoods brand. Attended by its creative director, and the Prime Minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron (taller than she looks), Bryan Ferry performed in the back room and his son Isaac DJ’d.

The National's fashion correspondent Gemma Champ will be blogging every day from London Fashion Week.

More from LFW 2012

• Day one: fragile flavours from Willow and Bora Aksu • Day two: a bunch of raving hippies but John Rocha goes against the grain • Day three: feeling blue at Ford, Schwab, Temperley, Smith

Read Gemma's coverage from New York Fashion Week including an exclusive interview with celebrity designer Victoria Beckham.

• Victoria Beckham shows her Californian side • NYFW Day 6: Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein show us how it’s done