NET-A-PORTER Limited

Market Watch: London Calling!

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Last week, The New York Times reported a charming anecdote about London-based designer Mary Katrantzou, who was worried when Anna Dello Russo asked to borrow a straight-from-the-runway Fall 2011 dress to wear to Paris Fashion Week. The incredibly ornate dress, in printed velvet, criss-crossed rows of crystals, and three-dimensional flowers is not exactly suited for sitting, but Dello Russo reportedly reassured her, saying “Mary, I’m a pro.”

I’m happy to report that the dress in question is still in perfect condition: flowers uncrushed, crystals immaculate. And after seeing and holding this ridiculously heavy piece in person at yesterday’s Fall 2011 market appointment for London designers Katrantzou, Erdem, Matthew Williamson, Saloni, Charlotte Olympia, and more, I’m all the more convinced that Dello Russo is superhuman.


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If Katrantzou’s offerings are a little much for mere mortals, an Erdem cocktail number in heavy magenta seamed silk overlaid with abstract black lace might hit the spot. Less precious than some of the designer’s earlier lacy and floral offerings, it was just a touch dark—just what my closet needs for Fall.

I spied some adorable offerings from Matthew Williamson’s upcoming diffusion line, MW, but what really caught my eye was a pale gray Mongolian wool vest from his main line, jazzed up with stripes of heavy embellishment—think punky safety pins with a seriously posh edge. (And I’m definitely sensing a theme here: between Katrantzou’s dress and Williamson’s vest, these Brits like their clothes with weight!)

Another highlight was Charlotte Olympia’s cheeky shoes and clutches. Though the box clutch with designer Charlotte Dellal’s leopard mascot, Bruce, as the clasp was adorable (you can peep Bruce growling in the background of this shot), the crystal studded platform heels jazzed up with a painted face really captured Dellal’s signature wit.

Photos: Erdem dress (top left), Matthew Williamson vest (top right), Charlotte Olympia shoe (bottom).