London designers trawl Americana, tropical themes

Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:51pm EDT
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By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - The catwalks exploded with bright colors on the second day of London Fashion Week, as designers sent brightly printed dresses, embellished denim and tie-dye printed leather down the runway on Saturday.

Jeweled embellishments, ornate embroidery and tropical prints also made a strong appearance during the shows as designers embraced a lighter and more playful side for their latest womenswear spring/summer 2013 collections.

Spring was in the air at Jasper Conran's show, where walls were decorated with neon lights laid out in the shape of large flowers. Models walked barefoot onto the lush green catwalk, in embellished denim, broderie anglais and sequined dresses.

The collection was influenced by all aspects of Americana, Conran told Reuters, citing Janis Joplin, cowboy boots and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe as inspiration.

"I've done denim for the first time on the catwalk, so it starts quite sort of blues, and whites and silvers. And then it explodes."

"Everything has a reference back to Americana, so it's all logically done, with a healthy dose of illogicality," he added.

Hot pinks, mustard yellows, mossy greens punctuated the collection, which featured knitted crochet dresses, micro shorts, and floral-printed blouses.

The Americana theme continued further south at Holly Fulton's show, which was attended by British actress Gemma Atherton, and the International Herald Tribune's Suzy Menkes.   Continued...

Models present creations from the Jasper Conran Spring/Summer 2013 collection at London Fashion Week September 15, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris