Or so we thought. London's designers may not be the one-legged-trousered provocateurs they once were, but they still have a little of the awkward squad about them. So they refused to play ball with the neat concept of Olympic-themed summer collections. Where sportswear figured as an influence, it was in a highly stylised guise: racer-back dresses at Marios Schwab and Peter Pilotto; a satin tennis skirt at Christopher Kane; Aertex-effect shirts at JW Anderson.
But if the Olympians are not to be next season's muses, who is? Perhaps the Duchess of Cambridge-so feted by the fashion world on her wedding day only five months ago? There was an oblique reference, perhaps, at Temperley, where Pippa Middleton-who wore a green Temperley dress to her sister's evening reception in April – sat in the front row. One of the references cited for the collection was Tracy Lord in High Society, a character played by Grace Kelly-whose lace-sleeved wedding dress was similar in style to the Duchess's.
No, you're right – that's tenuous, even for fashion. The princess bride is, frankly, over. A mischievous mind could, however, see a connection between the Cambridges' married life in Anglesey and the fact that a new character – the Valiumed-out Stepford housewife – turned up on the catwalk this season. Jonathan Saunders, whose collection was once again among the very strongest, dressed his models in neat, modest, wifely shapes – a longish slim sheath dress, a crew-neck sweater with a knee-length skirt – but the fabrics and colours (chartreuse shantung silk, polka-dot pyjama silk) lent a tripped-out effect.
Shirts and trousers in matching prints (a look not much seen in the last half century) made a comeback on several catwalks, while ponytails and flicked-out black eyeliner were ubiquitous both on models and on the front row.
But despite all this, London isn't really about trends at the moment. The British high street does trends so well these days that the smart designers have realised swimming with the crowd is no longer enough. Instead, they have decided to tell their own stories.