At the London shows Monday morning, the crowd, some looking bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived, rehashed the Oscars, which ended about 5 a.m. local time. There was palpable excitement about two key British wins, Eddie Redmayne for best actor and “The Imitation Game” for best adapted screenplay (though the actual winner, the writer Graham Moore, is American).
But mostly there were grumbles about the fashion, how boring and safe it was (though Marion Cotillard did raise some eyebrows in Dior) and what little presence there was of British designers, even with four British actors (Mr. Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rosamund Pike and Felicity Jones) among the top nominees.
“No, no, no,” a woman behind me in line at the Erdem show said to her companion as she swiped through red-carpet images on her phone, dismissing one gown after another.
“Well, that’s nice,” she proclaimed as she rested for a second on a picture of Meryl Streep in Lanvin. “Why don’t more women dress like that?”
There were also mixed reactions to Cate Blanchett, in black Maison Margiela, designed by John Galliano in his return to fashion after his post-Dior exile. Some were happy that Ms. Blanchett seemed to be making a statement of support for the disgraced British designer. Others thought the elegance of the look was undercut by the huge Tiffany bib necklace she wore with it.
“It makes her look old,” one front-row attendee said.
As for the Britons, Mr. Redmayne, a former Burberry model, went with an Alexander McQueen tux, while Mr. Cumberbatch wore a white dinner jacket, and Ms. Pike, a best actress nominee, chose a bright red Givenchy. But the most disappointing, according to an informal poll of the front row, was Ms. Jones, outfitted by Sarah Burton of McQueen in a flouncy ball gown that had the whiff of a bridal dress.
“So unfortunate,” one editor said. “She should have gone younger.”
“Awful,” another editor chimed in as others around her nodded meaningfully.
And then the show started, and thoughts turned to fall 2015.