London Fashion Week: Nicole Farhi keeps it classically simple as she prepares to step down as head designer

Anna Wintour and Bill Nighy sit front row as Nicole Farhi takes her final London Fashion Week bow

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UPDATED:

17:51 GMT, 16 September 2012

She was facing tough competition from the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Alice Temperley, who are both previewing their new collections today, but Nicole Farhi kept it simple as she debuted her 2013 Spring and Summer line.

US Vogue Editor Anna Wintour and veteran actor Bill Nighy were among the guests at the Royal Institute Of British Architects on the third day of London Fashion Week for the catwalk show, and the French-born designer didn't disappoint.

Champagne toned dresses, dramatic macs and shorts suits featured heavily in the classically-elegant collection, which was inspired by the marble quarries of Carrara in northern Italy.

Nicole Farhi

Nicole Farhi Spring/Summer 2013

Nicole Farhi

Nicole Farhi Spring/Summer 2013

Nicole Farhi

Nicole Farhi Spring/Summer 2013

US Vogue Editor Anna Wintour sat next to British actor Bill Nighy during the runway show

Taking their seats: US Vogue Editor Anna Wintour sat next to British actor Bill Nighy during the runway show at the Royal Institute Of British Architects

Pleats were also a key component in the collection, as were midi-skirts and spring coats.

Miss Farhi is handing over design
duties to new creative director Joanna Sykes later this year, after three
decades at the head of the brand and the 65-year-old was all smiles as
she took to the runway in a sheer grey shirt and matching trousers at
the close of the show.

The outspoken designer made headlines
earlier this year, when she critcised fashion brands for paying
celebrities to sit in the front row of their shows.

Famous friends: The twosome looked as though they were getting on like a house on fire as they chatted during the show

Famous friends: The pair looked like they were getting on like a house on fire as they chatted during the show

Bowing out: Miss Farhi is handing over design duties to new creative director Joanna Sykes this year

Bowing out: Miss Farhi is handing over design duties to new creative director Joanna Sykes this year

Bowing out: Miss Farhi is handing over design duties to new creative director Joanna Sykes this year

Nicole Farhi

Nicole Farhi

Nicole Farhi

Sweet inspiration: The collection ifs based on the marble quarries of Carrara in northern Italy

‘It is so unprofessional. I have never paid a celebrity and I will never do it. It’s stupid,' she told reporters.

Miss Farhi, who lives in north London
with her husband, the playwright David Hare, added: ‘What do they show
you in the papers after a fashion show Not the clothes, but the
celebrities who are being paid to sit at the show.

‘They will all hate me for it. I don’t give a s*** because I think it is abominable.’

Nicole Farhi

Pale shades: Models on the runway during the Nicole Farhi Spring / Summer 2013 preview

Nicole Farhi

Nicole Farhi

Nicole Farhi

Keeping it simple: The collection featured plenty of white and grey trousers and short suits