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Moschino Cheap and Chic Womenswear A/W12

Beauty and the chic from the Italian house visiting London Fashion Week

While never having shown in London before, there has always been a lot of love in the British capital for the purveyors of bold prints and tongue-in-cheek. An aspect of the brand crossed-over during the tail end of the 90s, with Moschino Jeans becoming the holy grail for the style-fixated garage underground. That was 15 years ago of course. This was a world away, the London debut for the Italian label's younger womenswear line, Cheap and Chic.

Done in true Moschino style, the presentation itself was nothing short of lavish, 'Make-Up' the inspiration. Guests were invited into a Regent's Park Georgian townhouse and served Bellinis by chiselled waiters while observing MAC cosmetics being applied to the runway girls and listening to records played by photographer Bella Howard. All before being escorted upstairs to the show itself.

Once things got going the audience were treated to a collection built on layers, with more than a nod to its location, and a live soundtrack supplied by the stunning singer, Lianne La Havas. Whether it was patchwork loose knit sweaters over 'cosmetic' print skirts and dresses featuring lipsticks, mascaras, nail polishes and powder compacts or applique details, rainbow dyed furs, powder-puff hemlines and a cascade of black sequins falling across vibrant orange knits, the message definitely seemed to be bigger is better.

A savvy decision has been made in showing Cheap and Chic in London and by the looks of things they are more than on path to getting the difficult balance correct. It's a tough call for a house with such a longstanding and identifiable signature to move runways, especially given the delicate nuances between New York, Milan and London. Whether it is the British sense of irony or the Italian love of glamour, for their debut, Cheap and Chic seemed to have got things just right.