Edgy London Attracts More Fashion Buyers From U.s., Asia
London Fashion Week: From fairytale gowns to bright, structured looks, there’s something for everyone
If the womenswear is often overwrought and this seasons menswear under thought, somehow for spring everything met perfectly in the middle. But London designers are, of course, doing tidy business. Its easy to picture the woman buying Roksanda Illincics citrus-flushed clothes, for instance. This season she presented in one of those ubiquitous office blocks rather than her usual gilded salons, and the change did her good. The clothes stood out against the grey city skyscape, as did the tangerine and chartreuse installation created by the set designer Gary Card that resembled brightly-coloured building blocks. Illincics collection was brightly coloured too, indeed colour was one of its building blocks, brilliant orange contrasting with lime, black banded against vibrant turmeric yellow. Some of the clothes were reminiscent of Raf Simons experiments with colour and free-falling fabric at Dior, such as the tumbling pane of fabric fluttering from a sleeveless shell top, or the strapless dress in flycatcher strips of fabrics. But thats been a trend across the season. It was there too in Emilia Wicksteads collection the bandbox-striped voluminous dresses in cerise and more satsuma-orange, and the slender numbers contrasting that shade with a minty jade, put you in mind of Dior, and also Simons 2011 neon floral collection for Jil Sander. There were similar patterns, and shapes. But a second outing here was welcome. Wickstead is a designer who creates resolutely polite, well-behaved clothes. She isnt trying to revolutionise anything.
There were long dresses embroidered with hand-cut silk flowers and with lace and crystals, gowns printed with a pattern of purple orchids and lace created out of the patterns of trailing leaves. “It’s about transporting you into another mood. We all live such normal lives, with work, it’s nice to have fantasy clothes,” the designer told AFP backstage after the show. Samir Hussein/Getty Images Cara Delevingne hits the runway for TopShops Unique fashion show in London on Sunday. The label recently appointed a new chief executive, Ulrik Garde Due, who will use his experience at Burberry and Celine to promote it as a luxury lifestyle brand. “Now we’ve got the (everyday) Alice line, we’ve got a good business, we don’t have to be so commercial with the runway. We can be more creative,” Temperley said. Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images A playful look from Greek designer Mary Katrantzous London Fashion Week show on Sunday. At the other end of the market, fashion chain Topshop unveiled its latest Unique collection in a tent in Regent’s Park, staging a “Heat Rave” filled with all the best bits of summer. Under the gaze of chief executive Philip Green, model Kate Moss and US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, the models sported loose sun dresses, rucksacks packed for the beach and slip-on mules as they walked along the grass floor. There were ethnic patterns and vibrant colours reflecting the blue of the sky and sea, while a V-necked white dress was adorned with mirrors to reflect the glittering of the sun. RELATED: PLUS-SIZED MODELS BIG IN LONDON FASHION WEEK Sunday also saw the latest collection from Mary Katrantzou, who took shoes as her inspiration for this season’s take on the graphic prints that made her famous.
Models present creations from the Vivienne Westwood Red Label Spring/Summer 2014 collection during London Fashion Week September 15, 2013. Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett By Li-mei Hoang and Marie-Louise Gumuchian LONDON | Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:56pm EDT LONDON (Reuters) – British designers are drawing increasing interest from buyers in the United States and Asia, experts say, as fashion followers turn to edgy London to keep their wardrobes fresh. Having produced names like Vivienne Westwood, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, the British capital traditionally champions designers prepared to take risks. Buyers from big department stores around the world travel to the four fashion hubs each season – New York, Paris, Milan and London – and, while smaller than its rivals, the latter still enjoys a reputation for breaking new ground. The September 13-17 London Fashion Week for spring/summer 2014 has drawn a strong U.S. presence, including from luxury department stores Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, said Caroline Rush, British Fashion Council (BFC) chief executive. “There is a very strong attendance from the U.S.,” she said. “(Young) designers are seeing growth in American markets, various different Asian territories; they’re seeing growth in mainland Europe but (mainly) a lot of opportunity through America and Asia.” Well-known British luxury goods brands such as Burberry and Mulberry are staples in many stores around the world, but newer names such as Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto are also proving popular across the pond. “I am a huge fan of London Fashion Week because we have so many great designers that we sell at Neiman Marcus,” said Ken Downing, fashion director at the U.S. store. “The excitement over pattern and print has really happened here in London … (Customers) love our designers from London.” Luxury spending in the United States collapsed after the 2008 financial crisis but returned to pre-crisis levels by 2012. Increased confidence among affluent spenders have boosted sales and encouraged luxury brands to step up investments there. More foreign shoppers are also visiting stores as the U.S. government eases visa restrictions to attract more tourists.
Westwood, Temperley headline London catwalk shows
SYLVIA HUI September 15, 2013 6:01 PM LONDON (AP) London Fashion Week saw its busiest day so far Sunday, with editors and buyers rushing across the city for back-to-back spring womenswear preview shows. With so much to see, what was memorable? Volume was one key feature, with loose trapeze tops and skirts playing a starring role at both Temperley London and Mulberry. Another is think pink: the color, already so popular in stores this fall and winter, looks set to enjoy another season in the limelight come spring. Preen had bright neon pink in its collection, while Temperley employed all shades of blush, rose and fuchsia for an all-out romantic mood. But talk about memorable can’t leave out British fashion’s grand dame Vivienne Westwood, who dialed up her typical mix of fashion and environmental activism by opening her show with a modern dance performance by model Lily Cole. The solo dance, used to symbolize the destruction caused by climate change, almost sidelined Westwood’s designs, though her fans were still happy to see another collection of their favorite cinched-in outfits and draped dresses. Sunday was Day 3 of London Fashion Week, and the fashion elite, led by American Vogue editor Anna Wintour and other celebrities, was seen at shows from Westwood to Matthew Williamson, Jonathan Saunders, Mary Katrantzou and Unique by Topshop. Shoe designers Manolo Blahnik and Sophia Webster and heritage leather goods brand Smythson also presented collections to editors and buyers. TEMPERLEY LONDON Romantic escapism has never looked more enticing than on Temperley London’s new spring catwalk. For 15 minutes, the collection transported the audience from wet and wind-swept London to a lush floral garden with grand ball gowns in the most feminine shades of pink and purple: pale and powdery carnation, dusty rose, and the vivid fuchsias and violets of tropical orchids. Designer Alice Temperley, whose clients include the Duchess of Cambridge, said that she wanted to create a dreamy mood reminiscent of Mediterranean summer evenings under wisterias and vines.