In the front row at London Fashion Week

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by Katherine Knowles

It’s a five day fashion extravaganza which transforms the Natural History Museum into a catwalk and fills the grounds with a vast exhibition of more 100 designers showcasing their talents.

People make proclamations such as “champagne is my life” without irony. Anna Wintour is oft expected but never appears.

Lights, and clothes, bubbles but rarely a canape, beautiful people and possibly a Girl Aloud. There’s just so much of Fashion week.

It can be a little overwhelming. Unless you’re covering menswear that is.

Truth be told, there’s not a lot of menswear at London Fashion Week.

And some of that from the “Japanese punk mixed with Hoxton-esque flea market only sold in one small shop in Camden” school of clothing design.

But there were some collections that stood out in their originality or trend-influencing wearability.

Ticking one of these boxes, well, let’s just say that the collection’s unlikely to be ripped off by Primark , the Gareth Pugh collection amazed and confused in almost equal measure.

With a gothic-meets-industrial vibe, models strode down the catwalk in warrior helmets and plaits looking for all the world like post apocalyptic elves.

Silhouettes were unique and dramatic, emphasising the shoulders with ruffles, puffs and, subtlety be dammed, furry epaulettes. Skinny trousers set off the look.

At DavidDavid the skinny leg was again very much in evidence; though the rather fabulous retro-print skin-tight trousers should only be attempted by the truly svelte of calf.

Slightly more forgiving, the tailoring at Unconditional was slim-line and neat of leg.

A cheeky school blazer-inspired suit and a pronounced crossover jacket heralded a more structured approach to the collection, which also delivered on its trademark slouchy (sometimes bare-chested) T-shirts, and drape-y fine knit sweaters, including a dapper dress coat style cardigan.

Over in Savile Row, and fresh from recent BBC4 documentary fame, Norton and Sons hosted a champagne party to launch their new range of bespoke accessories – beautiful leather bags, and fabulously skilled knitwear. All terribly masculine and surprisingly butch.

Just what you’d want for a weekend of sporting pursuits, if New York could only get off your damn blackberry for five minutes and let you shoot some wild boar (with your Canon, of course).

What’s in and what’s out?

IN – Skinny

OUT – Flares

IN – Shoulders

OUT – Arms

IN – Purple

OUT – Khaki Green

IN – Draping

OUT – Minimal

IN – Industrial Matrix Elves in Suits

OUT – Lumberjack Dwarves

IN – Fantasy

OUT – Reality (but you already knew that, right?)