LONDON (Reuters) - Hotpants featuring England’s King Henry VIII, he of six wives’ fame, showed on Tuesday that veteran fashion designer Betty Jackson can still startle as much as any of the new names in London design.
Jackson, who has been showing at London Fashion Week for 25 years, proved she was not to be outdone in flamboyance or idiosyncrasy by acclaimed new designers such as Marios Schwab and Christopher Kane.
Jackson’s catwalk was strewn with brightly patterned rugs, in contrast to the minimalist decor of other shows, and colors were vibrant and clashing.
“We wanted unconventional colors, so... the palette was quite broad and odd colors together,” Jackson told reporters.
A ribbed mustard polo neck was worn under a satin black dress, while transparent orange and pink sleeves sprouted from the shoulders of blue, knitted cardigans.
Sequins were everywhere, hand-sewn onto tights, headbands, shoes and bodices, and adorning models’ cheekbones.
Twenty-five year old Krystof Strozyna was also bold in his choice of colors for his first show at London Fashion Week.
The Polish-born newcomer sent models down the runway in fluorescent pink dresses, raspberry high heels and oversized jewelry. Stiff cottons were used to create structured frocks and jackets with over-sized collars and wide sleeves.
Strozyna graduated last year from the prestigious London art college Central St. Martins, which has a history of big fashion label graduates such as John Galliano and Stella McCartney.
“This is the best place for me to start a label because it is really open, really vibrant and welcoming to newcomers,” he told Reuters.
Strozyna is one of the twenty young designers awarded New Generation (New Gen) sponsorship by the British Fashion Council to show in the fashion week exhibition and on the catwalk.
His show ran back-to-back with that of label MeadhamKirchhoff, designed by fellow New Gen winners and Central St. Martins graduates Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff.
The two collections could not have been more different, as MeadhamKirchoff drew on a sober palette and few accessories.
“The key colors of the collection - shades of black, grey, navy, flesh and mauve reinforce the statement of quiet and understated elegance rather than crass sensationalism,” the notes accompanying the show read.
London Fashion Week opened on February 10 with a champagne reception and closes on February 15 after nearly 60 designers have shown their autumn/winter collection.
One of the most anticipated shows is Vivienne Westwood’s return to London after a nine year absence to display her Red Label collection.
Editing by Matthew Jones