As ever, London designers traveled their own paths this season…Giles Deacon was inspired by Elsa Schiaparelli…Julien Madonald seemed to be channeling Hubert de Eley Kishimoto, the inspiration was the city’s hot Brixton neighborhood…and, at Pringle, twinsets are forever.

Giles Deacon: With a calendar full of been-there, seen-that designers, Giles Deacon has become the hot ticket in town. It was also the only show to feature real live supermodels, as in Linda Evangelista, Karolina Kurkova, Guinevere van Seenus and Karen Elson. Deacon, who sells at Liberty, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols, said he was inspired by the recent Elsa Schiaparelli show in Paris. “I love those personal eccentricities, the part-jokey, part-serious way of dressing and the amazing crafts and techniques,” he said during a preview of the collection last week. “I also like clothes that are solid,” he added, pointing to the weighty silk and metallic jackets woven with giant zigzags, monkeys or marquetry designs; skirts covered in dyed blue pheasant feathers, and silk jacquard trousers woven with a bee-and-honeycomb motif. And while the collection offered plenty of tailored pieces, there were also some that were lighter and more fluid, including a tuxedo dressing-gown dress with slashed-open shoulders and flowing caftans printed with photo prints of meteors.

There is no doubt that these are interesting clothes, beautifully cut and with a macabre British wit reminiscent of Alexander McQueen’s. The styling was too distracting, however, with tons of huge necklaces and other doodads piled on the looks. And how about those sky-high platforms that seemed to be there just to test a girl’s mettle? Deacon, who made his solo debut last season after designing under Tom Ford at Gucci, is looking to score another five accounts — including a few in the U.S. Maybe he should let the clothes speak for themselves.

Julien Macdonald: Whether Julien Macdonald is just jumping on fashion’s current girly bandwagon or possessed by the spirit of Hubert de Givenchy, whose Paris atelier he has just left, one thing’s for sure: Gone are the days of flash, flesh and tart-with-a-heart looks that are this designer’s usual fare. Instead, Macdonald showed his gorgeous knits, sparkly dresses and a more demure lady with a vintage vibe. “I’d been stuck in a rut, always doing the same thing, but this season I was really into the Forties,” he said. It wasn’t a runway full of Joan Crawfords, however. The designer likes all things Hispanic for spring, from the transparent blouses with luscious ruffles tumbling down the front to the fluffy, full-skirted, strapless confections covered in tiny silk flowers that any 15-year-old would kill to wear at her quinceaneras. This time around, his knits weren’t hidden under miles of jewels or marabou. Instead, they were used for long gold, tiered evening dresses or dotted with spherical beads on a puff-sleeved cardigan. Macdonald’s foray into prim-girl territory wasn’t exactly a complete departure from his past, though, because these looks may be cut from more fabric, but they’re still as sheer as ever.

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