London designers celebrate return of grown-up glamour, easy elegance

Tue Feb 18, 2014 3:40pm EST
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By Li-mei Hoang and Brenda Goh

LONDON (Reuters) - Oversized coats, sheer blouses and slinky cocktail dresses heralded the return of grown-up glamour on the catwalk on Tuesday at London Fashion Week, where the city is looking to cement its reputation as a global showcase for emerging talent.

Tom Ford, Jasper Conran and Marios Schwab celebrated the female form in their autumn/winter 2014 collections with figure-hugging dresses, sleek pencil skirts and tailored jackets in luxurious fabrics like fur, wool, cashmere and silk.

"There have been a lot of clothes that are really kind of hiding the body and the body disappearing so it's nice to see designers embracing the idea of letting a woman look like a woman," said Ken Downing, fashion director at American luxury department store Neiman Marcus.

Monochrome palettes with punctuated shades of grey were fused with burnt orange, ochre, cornflower blue and fuchsia to create clashing colour blocking effects.

"There's a very interesting colour palette going on," said TV presenter Brix Smith-Start, who owns luxury boutique Start London.

"The way that the colours are put together, in a new clashing, colour-blocking with all these unexpected colours together is interesting," she said.

Texture and embellishment also played a key role.

Designers moved away from digital prints and toward shearling, fur, cashmere and leather at Burberry, Topshop Unique and Christopher Raeburn.   Continued...

A model presents a creation from Barbara Casasola Autumn/Winter 2014 collection during London Fashion Week February 18, 2014. REUTERS/Olivia Harris