London Fashion Week steeped in 60s and Kate-mania

Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:37pm EST
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By Cindy Martin and Paul Casciato

LONDON (Reuters) - Over-sized boyfriend cardigans, vibrantly colored knits, 1960s-inspired collections and speculation over who is making Kate Middleton's wedding dress set the autumn/winter 2011 tone at London Fashion Week.

Veteran London designer Paul Smith said he went back to his menswear roots for his latest women's collection, showing an updated Annie Hall-like style twinning oversized coats and cardigans with sharply cut trousers that ended above the ankles.

"I'd been designing clothes for men for many years, and when I started designing clothes for women, it was the girls buying the boys' clothes basically, a jacket, a shirt, a raincoat, a big sweater," Smith told Reuters.

"And people have been asking me, we need that DNA back."

He said he didn't know who was designing Middleton's dress for her April 29 wedding to Britain's Prince William, but that the future royal's good looks and easy grace won't make the burden of being in the media spotlight any easier for her.

"Talking about Kate, she's a good-looking woman. Whether she'll have the same style icon image as Lady Di I'm not sure but certainly she's got a tough job ahead of her," he said.

London's grande dame of the designer set, Vivienne Westwood produced a Wonderland-themed collection for her diffusion Red Label autumn/winter 2011 collection which mixed vibrant plaids with earth-toned cardigans, suits with dramatically cut jackets and shorts cut mid-thigh, alongside some glittering glam pieces.

Westwood told reporters she was most definitely not designing Middleton's dress and that the commoner who may one day be a queen had some way to go before she was Westwood-ready.   Continued...

<p>A model presents a creation from the Vivienne Westwood Fall/Winter 2011 collection at London Fashion Week February 20, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>