Glamour and glitz prevail on London catwalks

Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:54am EDT
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By Marie-Louise Gumuchian

LONDON (Reuters) - With inspiration ranging from the yachts of the super rich to tropical beach colours, designers at London Fashion Week are seeking to ride out the tough economic times with creations that stand out and sparkle.

An array of colours and bold prints have prevailed on the catwalk since London Fashion Week began on Friday. Fashion theory may state that when times get tough hemlines drop but several names showcasing their designs for spring/summer 2012 have kept skirts short and dresses tightly fitted.

Designer Julien Macdonald said he was taking his clients on a journey from the yachts of Saint Tropez and Monte Carlo to China and Japan, with a collection filled with Asian print designs and embellished evening and cocktail dresses.

With their hair tightly gelled back, models wore white tuxedo jackets, metallic belts and waistcoat dresses, accessorized with Porsche-designed sunglasses and military caps.

"The collection is exclusive, it's very expensive. Only the richest people in the world can afford to buy it," he said.

Macdonald, known for luxury designs which usually sell for hundreds of dollars, often hosts more than 400 people at his shows but this year picked a smaller, more intimate setting.

"I just invited the best. I said no to 550 very upset people," he said. "The recession affects every designer. People just want special things ... If you've spent the money on the clothes, you want to look a billion dollars."

At London Fashion Week, which runs until September 21, dozens of British and international designers are showing their lines, eager to entice cash-strapped buyers with their collections.   Continued...

<p>A model presents a creation from the Issa 2012 Spring/Summer collection during London Fashion Week September 17, 2011. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett</p>