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London Fashion Week day 1: fragile flavours from Willow and Bora Aksu

  |  September 15, 2012

A model showcases designs by Willow on day one of London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013. Tim Whitby / Getty Images
Tim Whitby Stringer
A model showcases designs by Willow on day one of London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013. Tim Whitby / Getty Images

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

Only a couple of weeks ago, London style was all about Stella McCartney’s sports kits, but now that the fashion juggernaut has rolled into town, trainers and trackies will be no more. Not beyond Oxford Street, anyway.

London Fashion Week kicked off gently though – a relief to those buyers and editors who’d arrived that morning on the red-eye from New York – but two shows on day one stood out: Willow, an Australian brand making its London debut, and Bora Aksu, the Turkish designer with a penchant for delicate romance.

Both were utterly unlike New York’s bold, graphic collections, with Willow showing exquisitely simple shapes in filmy chiffons overlaying body-conscious foundations, the pale colours relieved by a fiery, painterly orange print.

A design by Bora Aksu during his Spring/Summer 2013 show at London Fashion Week

A model presents a design by Bora Aksu during his Spring/Summer 2013 show at London Fashion Week. Alastair Grant / AP Photo

Aksu also used orange, overlaid with purple, and chiffon, as well as many shades of blue, from cornflower to royal, and ivory, in a delicately regal collection inspired by the tale of a daughter of Queen Victoria who became a Queen of Romania. The result was a recurring Art Nouveau motif printed or burned out on layered A-line and shift dresses, with woven fabric crowns and leather clutches to match. The theme was perhaps a touch overextended, but there were nevertheless some beautiful long and short cocktail frocks in gossamer-light fabrics.

More from LFW 2012

Day two: a bunch of raving hippies but John Rocha goes against the grainDay 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 sideNYFW Day 6: Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein show us how it’s doneNYFW Day 5 – Jenny Packham, Naeem Khan and Dennis BassoNYFW Day 4 – Reem AcraNYFW Day 3 – Donna Karan’s DKNY collectionNew York Fashion Week Day 2 – VLOV, Esber and Alejandro IngelmoNew York Fashion Week 2012 Day 1