London's designers frame fashion with fur and feathers

Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:55am EST
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By Li-mei Hoang

LONDON (Reuters) - Fur and feathers ruled the runway at London Fashion Week for autumn/winter 2013, liberally applied to cuffs and collars, hemlines and hoods to jazz up otherwise simple styles.

American designer Tom Ford pieced together heavy coats from snippets of dyed fur and long, mane-like bristles traced the spine and neckline of a sequined zebra print evening dress.

Eagle plumes topped the wide-brimmed hats of Issa London, while fur and feathers also adorned the block color coats and dresses of PPQ.

Clean, simple palettes of jet black, charcoal greys, creamy vanillas and midnight blues paraded at Temperley London, Bora Aksu and Zoe Jordan while warm autumnal tones of caramel, ochre, russet red and deep plums radiated at Issa London, Matthew Williamson and Holly Fulton.

"There seems to be a real effortless simplicity around, very unfussy, unstructured easy chic going on and the palettes are fresh - there are blacks and creams with a little bit of soft pink," said Brix Smith-Start, stylist and TV presenter.

Although global growth worries still hover over the luxury market, designers focused on silks and other luxury fabrics to tempt consumers back into stores.

With buyers from 39 different countries attending, the British Fashion Council estimates orders of more than 100 million pounds ($154.79 million) are placed during London Fashion Week each season.

Designers also fused fur, wool and leather, layering cotton with translucent rubber at Burberry, felt wool mixed with lace at Christopher Raeburn and feathers with sheer silks at Christopher Kane.   Continued...

A model presents a creation from the Tom Ford Autumn/Winter 2013 collection during London Fashion Week, February 18, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett