Fantasy girls from Rapunzel to Russian dolls, sharply tailored looks and Seventies glitter lit up London's runways as the shows drew to a close. But watch out! Fashion here is moving in the direction of the macabre.

Giles Deacon: “The collection doesn’t really have a theme. I just wanted to explore old-school, traditional couture and tailoring techniques and play with proportions,” said Deacon a few days before his spare, elegant show on Wednesday night. And he was true to his word. After seasons of overstyling his sharply cut, dramatic pieces on the runway, Deacon got to straight to the point, sending out a collection that oozed sophistication from every seam. Black velvet chain-link patterns wound their way around sharply tailored, nip-waisted jackets, while pencil skirts and trapeze jackets were cut from ponyskin. 

But the collection, worn on the catwalk by the likes of Eva Herzigova and Karen Elson, wasn’t all sharp angles. Some of the structured wool jackets had puffed, twisted velvet sleeves. Voluminous black velvet capes and French highwayman’s coats with velvet pouf sleeves were dramatic but unfussy. Deacon, whose clients include Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, also unveiled evening gowns, including curve-hugging black knits, flowing jersey dresses with cutouts and strapless crepe ball gowns cinched at the waist with velvet bows.

Aquascutum: The British brand that built a name on rain-repellent wool coats back in the days of Queen Victoria just got a hit of youth serum. Founded in 1851 by John Emary and now owned by the Japanese company Renown, the brand is best known for its Aquascutum London collection of well-tailored suits, dresses and trenches in fabulous fabrics. Now designers Michael Herz and Graeme Fidler are turning the fashion volume up a notch with a line called simply Aquascutum — a collection inspired by British men’s tailoring and London street style. The debut runway show was a mixture of structure and drape with sexy, fitted tailored jackets and pants or pencil skirts worn with corsets, unlined, washed silk trenches and Fifties-style prom dresses with tulle petticoats that can be worn on the inside or the outside of the skirts. “We want to raise the profile of the brand and carry the business forward for another 150 years,” said Fidler. Herz added, “In a few seasons’ time, we’d like to see this on the catwalk with bits of the main line mixed in.” The women’s wear currently sells at Harrods and at the London flagship at 100 Regent Street and, inspired by the success of another venerable rainwear company, the firm is hoping to broaden its wholesale base with the new collection.

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