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Fashion: London Fashion Week's biggest trend was 'activism'

Katie Wright reports on the major stories from the biannual style blitz that is London Fashion Week

Models on the catwalk during the Erdem Autumn/Winter 2019 London Fashion Week show
Katie Wright

LONDON Fashion Week AW19: what a week it's been – five days of stunning catwalk shows, stellar front rows and epic after-parties. We've rounded up everything you need to know about what happened from the front row to backstage

:: Tisci triumphed at Burberry

Managing to swerve 'difficult second album' syndrome, Riccardo Tisci followed up his debut at the helm of Burberry with a collection and show that were hailed a resounding success.

Held at the Tate Modern, clothing ranged from ladylike beige skirt suits and elegant wool coats, to puffer jackets, polo shirts and chunky trainers – something for everyone in this expansive but focused collection.

:: Activism was in the in the air

The biggest trend of London Fashion Week AW19 was an attitude: activism.

It kicked off on the opening day when model Adwoa Aboah and singer Emeli Sande took to the catwalk alongside bereaved family members in support of Justice4Grenfell, while on Saturday Alexa Chung's second LFW show was inspired by female empowerment – a theme also felt in the mannish cord and velvet tailoring and the demure prairie dresses.

Designer Alexa Chung acknowledges the audience after presenting her Autumn/Winter 2019 London Fashion Week show

Henry Holland's ode to activism was an eclectic show called Global Citizen dedicated to those who feel unheard and misrepresented and also including a T-shirt collaboration with Netflix comedy series Sex Education.

Vivienne Westwood was back and political as ever, casting activists in her show, which was themed, as usual, around climate change.

:: Matty Bovan recycled the past

This young upstart is tipped for big things: Bovan's third outing at LFW repurposed old knitwear, vintage Liberty fabrics and assorted cast-offs to craft his signature skirts and corsets.

:: Erdem was more regal than ever

Frequently worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Erdem has quickly become a British fashion institution - and this time around designer Erdem Moralioglu's collection was inspired by Princess Orietta Doria Pamphilj, an Italian noblewoman whose fashion heyday was the 1960s. That meant swathes of billowing floral satin, voluminous jewel toned gowns and feathery cocktail dresses.

:: Christopher Kane caned it

His fabulously 1980s-inflected slew of bright baby doll frocks, teensy mini skirts and satin midi dresses came with his usual injection of black humour. What looked like a black leather coat was actually latex, and the fetish fabric was used throughout the collection.

:: Victoria Beckham branched out

Her collection focused on 'modern femininity', meaning the soft tailoring that Beckham has become known for, alongside lots of midi dresses that swished about models' calves – the lipstick red iterations were much admired.

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