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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.
Growth in the global luxury goods market is expected to be steady at around 5 percent in 2015, with the United States and Japan the biggest drivers, according to consultancy Bain & Co.
Designer Anya Hindmarch said this was true of her business.
"We have lot of stores in Japan and I think it's a really exciting market there. The United States is very buoyant at the moment as well, so I think the whole world is feeling more confident in a way," she told Reuters after her show.
Hindmarch, whose leather accessories are sold in nine countries, said she believed her success was down to the British humor of her brand with traffic signs emblazoned onto handbags, shirts and coats this season.
"The Britishness of the brand is quite fresh in a way, it's slight different perhaps, so it's an exciting time for us," she said.
Additional reporting by Katharina Oberberg; Editing by Tom Heneghan