London Fashion Week

While many of us ripped into heart shaped chocolates or cavorted with significant others (for some, the chocolate was the significant other) this Valentine’s Day, something much more beautiful was brewing just across the pond: London Fashion Week.

Kicking up its heels Feb. 14, the second round of international Autumn/Winter 2014 fashion weeks didn’t disappoint. Its expected level of excellence was solidified by designs from Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford and Burberry Prorsum.

Britain’s well-known sense of historical eccentricity was also represented by colorful and texturally rich collections from Anya Hindmarch, Topshop Unique and Peter Pilotto (a name you’ll recognize from the line’s recent Target collaboration).

Vivienne Westwood Red Label left a polished print upon the week’s festivities, showing almost 40 looks comprised of postwar-inspired ensembles, à la wide shoulder coats, expertly tailored pencil skirts and romantic sweetheart necklines. Graphic triangle-print stockings offered a well-balanced contrast for leg-baring hemlines, a pairing that modernized the vintage aesthetic overall.

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Tom Ford, a consistent favorite of megawatt stars like Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé, streamlined his trademark sex appeal with neutral tone looks underneath brightly colored animal print outerwear. Plenty of leather accent detailing and fishnet stockings cemented the confident chic look for which Tom Ford is famous.

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Burberry Prorsum diverged from its usual military-inspired line this season, instead sending oversized monogrammed blankets and impressionistic-patterned wraps down the runway. Scarves were knotted loosely around the shoulders of male models, who, like many of their female counterparts, toted large carpet bags in their wake. The looks evoked a sense of boho-luxe that undoubtedly struck a chord with show attendees, which included British pop star Harry Styles and all-around-heartthrob Bradley Cooper.

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A mention of Anya Hindmarch is certainly deserved too, as the English designer gave the week a refreshing punch of cool with her supermarket-themed pop-culture bags. Models pushing shopping carts carried cereal-inspired totes – one depicted a reinterpreted version of everyone’s favorite Tony the Tiger, yes, as in the mascot of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. The rooster from Kellogg’s corn flakes was present, too.

Topshop Unique carried on in a sea of blue, gray and yellow, punctuated with cropped puffer jackets, fur-cloaked sweaters and over-the-knee slouchy boots. That “cool girl” persona Topshop always brings to the table was definitely present as well, seen in the tattoo-like beaded embellishments that branched down the arms of sheer, see-through tops.

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And Peter Pilotto drew many eyes too, especially as the name is still fresh in the minds those who indulged in the Peter Pilotto for Target line earlier this month. The signature digital patterns were seen on most of the collection’s 40 looks, while playing with geometric shapes and designs was a strong theme throughout the Autumn/Winter line, too.

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Countless designers certainly brought their A-game to the week’s shows, and the bar is set for Milan’s fashion week, which started Feb. 18 and ends Feb. 23.

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