Fashion designers return to elegance in buzzy London

Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:45pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy and Li-mei Hoang

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Designers at London Fashion Week heralded a return to ladylike elegance for spring/summer 2013 using florals, longer hemlines and tailored cuts to create a modest look with subtle sexuality.

A weakened global economy continues to weigh on the luxury fashion industry and London designers were keen to showcase statement pieces that buyers would want to invest in, drawing on the timeless silhouettes of the 1950s, as seen at Temperley London, Emilia Wickstead and Vivienne Westwood Red Label.

"London still feels creative and still has that exciting, buzzy energy about it, but the collections were full of highly wearable, luxurious pieces," Pat McNulty, web editor of UK's Cosmopolitan magazine, told Reuters in an email, citing collections from Giles, Burberry Prorsum, Erdem and Mulberry among her favorites.

The rich floral culture of the English countryside was a central theme this season, as designers incorporated vibrant blooms and floral colors into their palettes.

Floral motifs adorned garments at Erdem, Mulberry, Bora Aksu, Temperley London and Corrie Nielsen, who was inspired by botanical gardens and Japanese artist Makoto Murayama.

Designers favored lighter fabrics for their spring creations, using a medley of organza, cotton, silk and chiffon, but added a sexy edge with cropped tops and short hemlines at Felder Felder, peek-a-boo cutouts at Erdem and bonded leather at Mulberry.


While designers may have embraced a more grown-up look for their garments, there was still a presence of the whimsical style that has made London fashion so unique.   Continued...

A model presents a creation by Haizen Wang at the Fashion Fringe Spring/Summer 2013 collection at London Fashion Week September 18, 2012. REUTERS/Olivia Harris