After lugging my heavy laptop through sweaty tourists, early evening commuters and shoppers (tricky in sky high wedges) I finally arrived at the plush Claridge's Hotel Mayfair for the Nicholas Oakwell Couture AW12 show. The 'catwalk' was a route that snaked around carefully positioned black sofas and antique tables dotted with crystal decanters and cocktail glasses. As the show began mellow jazz melted into funky yet romantic 70's classics (think Barry White) and Scottish Model of the year, Tali Lennox, slowly stepped out and perched on the edge of a sofa before working the room. The collection, 'inspired by the lush decadence of 1970's New York', was strictly sexy yet sophisticated with no holding back on expensive cashmeres, hand made lace, heavy tweeds, shaved mink, leather, suede, sequins and glass beading. It was hard to pick favourites but the shaved mink and suede ankle strap heels, a collaboration with Nicholas Kirkwood, stood out for me. This is only Oakwell's third collection yet he has established a strong celebrity and industry following, amongst the show regulars were legendary fashion journalist Hilary Alexander and actress Olivia Grant.