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“When it is raining, we wear Ugg boots underneath our dresses. It’s not as glamorous as it may seem. ” —Michelle Dockery to InStyle

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Market Watch: Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders, and More at Starworks


With a few exceptions (Burberry, Stella McCartney, etc.), British fashion often gets short shrift. Touring the Starworks Group's London press day for Fall 2012, we could only scratch our heads and wonder why.

Jonathan Saunders's exquisite floral-embroidered dresses made a compelling case for his recent BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund win, while Peter Pilotto exuded that signature British boldness with multicolored fur coats and striped fox fur scarves in pink and melon.

Nicholas Kirkwood never disappoints in the eye candy department, and I spent much of my visit poring over his heels, which featured rose prints, extreme laser cuts, graphic zig zags, and Picasso-esque booties with a sweep of black pony hair trailing down the back (the shoe mullet?). Less quirky but far more covetable were Kirkwood's Lucite-heeled range for Erdem's Fall 2012 collection. What gal doesn't need those neon plaid booties in her life?



Other favorites were Marios Schwab's breathaking embroidered eggplant gown with a plunging neckline (red carpeters, take note), and just about everything from First Lady fave Roksanda Ilincic. Her delicate beading, color-blocking, exaggerated ruffled hems, red and purple-heavy palette, and saga fur accents (I loved a garnet number with a sash of gray fur across the front) felt womanly, sophisticated, and just the right amount of daring.

Of course, it wasn't all London Fashion Week regulars on display. After oohing and ahhing over Vilshenko's velvet burgundy suit, Ermanno Scervino's structured coats, Swarovski's latest designer collaborations, Tucker's polka-dot tea dress, and Sophia Kokosalaki's ethically sourced draped knit dress in a rose-coral, my attention turned to more casual pieces.

That is, if anything concerning Karl Lagerfeld can be considered casual. The designer's fourth Hogan collaboration has resulted in some seriously chi-chi streetwear, with sneakers boasting studs, patent leather, and crystal stitching. Just add a matching tote and perhaps Lulu & Co's leather-sleeved black sweatshirt.

Speaking of perfect pairs, I'm mentally pairing Hudson's colorful cords with Lacoste Live's scalloped denim button-down, accessorized with the French label's latest version of the zip-detailed Hero Bag (inspired by the golf bag used by René Lacoste's daughter). Now I just need to figure out which Kirkwoods to go with it all ...

Photos: Jonathan Saunders (top left); Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem (middle center); Roksanda Ilincic (bottom center)