London Fashion Week runs last leg in Great British relay

Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:06pm EDT
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By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - London fashion designers take up the baton for Britain on Friday, strutting the global stage in a capital city that has already captivated millions around the world with the Olympics, Queen Elizabeth's diamond jubilee and last year's royal wedding.

Just a few short weeks after a closing Olympic ceremony which put fashion at the heart of a glittering show celebrating the best of Britain in front of the world, buyers, journalists celebrities and models have begun to descend on London fresh from New York and on the way to collections in Milan and Paris.

"London is like the epicenter of the world for everything and I think it really showed in the closing ceremony of the Olympics how influential and important British fashion is," stylist and TV presenter Brix Smith-Start told Reuters.

Leading UK designers Christopher Kane, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Burberry's Christopher Bailey will present their spring/summer 2013 collections to fashion buyers from home and abroad in a year of continued austerity across Europe.

"I always love the diverse representation of collections showcased in London. It is great to see leading favorites such as Christopher Kane, Erdem and Burberry Prorsum alongside emerging designers and I am looking forward to seeing Rag & Bone in the lineup this season," said Harrods Head of Womenswear Helen David.

An estimated £100m ($158.9m) of orders are expected to be placed during London Fashion Week, according to the British Fashion Council.

More than 80 designers are expected to show their latest collections in London, with cutting edge labels PPQ, Meadham Kirchoff, Louise Gray and Erdem touted as the hottest tickets.

"Meadham Kirchoff are just completely creative, you never know what they are going to do next, they stage some of the most theatrical, mesmerizing and moving shows. They're completely original, one-off, beyond. They're fabulous," Smith-Start said.   Continued...

A model has her hair styled before a reception on the eve of London Fashion Week September 13, 2012. The reception was for Livia Firth's Green Cut initiative to promote environmentally sustainable fashion. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett