Designers dabble with decades at London Fashion Week

Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:07pm EST
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By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - Designers dabbled with different decades for inspiration at London Fashion Week, offering a heady mixture of patterned flares, oversized sheepskin jackets and printed mini-dresses in their latest collections.

Burberry, Vivienne Westwood and Topshop Unique showcased designs influenced by Britain's countryside and folk craft, with printed velvet dresses and fringed trench coats, continuing a bohemian '70s theme into the autumn/winter season.

Designers also called upon the '60s and '80s for inspiration this season, with printed mini dresses, oversized leather dresses and puff-ball jackets seen at J.W. Anderson and Jonathan Saunders' shows earlier in the week.

"It feels like we are seeing many ideas over many decades," Ken Downing, fashion director at U.S. luxury department store Neiman Marcus, told Reuters.

"The '70s is the most prevalent ... but this '80s idea is certainly happening as well and all the cool kids are going to heading towards the 80s and going to be abandoning the '70s pretty quickly," Downing added.

Detailed embellishment, clashing patterns and hand-crafted fabrics also featured heavily across many of London's shows, reflecting a move away from the minimalism of the past year.

"There has been lots of sparkles and embellishment ... Fashion goes from one spectrum to the other, and people are bored of 'norm-core'. I haven't seen much minimalism at all," said Pandora Sykes of The Sunday Times Style section.

"It has all been quite wearable, there have been really beautiful dresses with knee high boots, so it's all quite easy to imagine how it would work in real life," she added.   Continued...

Models present creations from the Anya Hindmarch Autumn/Winter 2015 collection during London Fashion Week February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett