Flowers, pattern-mixing, sportswear triumph at London Fashion Week

Tue Sep 16, 2014 8:02am EDT
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By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON Reuters - Designers took inspiration from nature, sportswear and eclectic pattern mixes for their London Fashion Week collections, offering an array of glamorous gowns and sleek casualwear heavy with hand-crafted details.

Burberry, Erdem and Marchesa showcased spring-summer collections that drew on the countryside -- plants, flowers and botany -- for their abstract prints, embroidery and lavishly embellished gowns.

"It's just a very romantic, feminine season and the idea of looking at the world through the joyous lens through all of the great clothes that we are seeing," U.S. luxury department store Neiman Marcus's Fashion Director, Ken Downing, said.

"The whole story of pattern-mixing is also prevalent. It can be wide stripes with narrow stripes, big flowers with small flowers, or many times mixing stripes with flowers or even animal prints together at one time," he said.

Sportswear influences also featured heavily, with designers Richard Nicoll, Jasper Conran and British retailer Topshop's up-market Unique label showing hooded anoraks, jersey dresses and cycling tops in colors from bold primaries to chalky pastels.

"Sporty is still a trend, ever since Celine ushered it in a few seasons ago and has been going strong -- you see a lot of editors in sneakers and track pants -- and we are still seeing that on the runway," fashion magazine Lucky's Editor-in-Chief, Eva Chen, told Reuters.

Designers also embraced a more relaxed attitude toward dressing up, with wide-legged trousers, loosely fitted sheer blouses and voluminous dresses featuring pleating and digital prints in ochre, coral, pink, aqua and purple.

These were paired with boxy cropped jackets, silky trench coats and flat shoes along with hand-finished details, a feature designers were keen to point out as a counter to the fact that hot-paced growth in demand for luxury goods is waning.   Continued...

Actor Richard E. Grant (C) watches the presentation of the Anya Hindmarch Spring/Summer 2015 collection during London Fashion Week September 16, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett