Renaissance, Russian themes hit London catwalks

Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:14am EST
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By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - Renaissance paintings, Russian themes and military cuts dominated the catwalk on the second day at London Fashion Week with evening gowns, fur hats and eclectic prints for the autumn/winter season.

Dresses in rich hues of cobalt, emerald and ruby featured heavily and marched alongside military-inspired coats with fur detailing for a fashion week keen to burnish its reputation for young creativity.

"It's become a really, really exciting place to be. Especially in the last five years. People are realizing that there's a lot of businesses here that are very scalable," British designer Alice Temperley told Reuters.

Temperley, whose collection was inspired by Renaissance paintings, sent her models out in huge fluffy fur hats, brightly colored printed dresses with oriental flower patterns and delicate sheer evening gowns with rich beaded detailing and embroidery that oozed decadence and the glamour of past eras.

Dressed in a deep blue navy lace jacket and skirt, the designer said she wanted to have fun creating something that was new, current and sensual with something that was rich and opulent. She added that attention she had received from Kate Middleton (now the Duchess of Cambridge) and her younger sister Pippa had boosted her label.

"They're great British ambassadors and we're a British brand. It can only be a good, healthy thing," she said.

At Issa London, models wore vibrant printed dresses and colorful evening gowns of deep rich hues. Subtle embellishments of beading, fur hats and a Chinese red lace piece drew approval from the crowd.

Actress Gemma Atherton, musician Tinie Tempah and American DJ and model Leigh Lezark graced the front row of Issa, another favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge, as models sashayed past with fur hats or printed scarves neatly tied about their necks.   Continued...

A model presents a creation at the Temperley 2012 Autumn/Winter collection show during London Fashion Week February 18, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett