February 16, 2008 / 12:06 AM / 10 years ago

A wintry wonderland wraps up London Fashion Week

LONDON (Reuters) - A curtain of snow fell on London Fashion Week on Friday as top designer Julien Macdonald sent fur-clad models gliding through a wintry wonderland for the last show.

Models display creations by Julien Macdonald during his Autumn/Winter 2008 show at London Fashion Week February 15, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

Snowflakes and glitter floated down from the ceiling of a ballroom at the London Hilton Hotel, where the audience viewed the Welsh designer’s autumn-winter collection from seats draped in white cloth.

Macdonald, whose extensive use of fur has brought him plenty of criticism, sent models down the runway in black, brown and grey fur coats over short skirts or voluminous trousers.

Knitwear was also prominent, with models wearing thick knitted leggings and jumpers.

But the designer famous for putting pop stars into “barely there” dresses did not let the wintry weather theme get in the way of showing off glamorous evening gowns.

One smoky-eyed girl with a mane of platinum blonde hair wore a dress cloaked in gold and black feathers with black leather gloves and spiky heels.

“The Julien Macdonald woman is the woman who loves clothes, loves fashion, loves to go out, loves to be seen — not a woman who hides in a corner but just a woman who really enjoys herself,” the designer told reporters after the show, adding that the collection was partly inspired by Anjelica Huston.


Earlier in the day, Scottish designer Graeme Black clothed his models in tartan pencil skirts, elbow-length leather gloves and slinky tops for his first show at London Fashion Week.

Skirts and frocks were cut below the knee, but the look was seductive.

“I was inspired by Miss Jean Brodie, and being prim and beautiful and sensual and proper,” said Black, referring to the unorthodox 1930’s Scottish teacher in Muriel Spark’s novel.

The designer, who launched his eponymous label two years ago, spent the last 15 years in Italy, heading design for Armani Black Label and Ferragamo Womenswear. But he returned to his Scottish roots for his own autumn-winter collection.

The iconic kilt was reinterpreted in embroidered suede and tweed, while organza and jersey fabrics were beaded with Celtic motifs.

If the Graeme Black label was previously entirely manufactured in Italy, this show introduced a part of the collection “made in Scotland,” focusing on cashmeres, fine woven textiles and hand knits.

This was “something to be justly proud of against the backdrop of the fashion industry’s relentless move of manufacturing away from its traditional, historical roots,” read the notes accompanying the show.

Scotland has provided inspiration for several shows this season, with young designer Henry Holland staging a “Highland fling” on Wednesday complete with purple tartan antlers and tartan minikilts.

Vivienne Westwood, staging her first London show in nine years, also used tartan in her Red Label collection, which drew on the punk era and rock ‘n’ roll.

The return of celebrated designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Luella Bartley and Graeme Black has brought an extra buzz to London Fashion Week, reinvigorated by up-and-coming names Gareth Pugh, Marios Schwab and Christopher Kane.

Milan Fashion Week begins on Saturday.

(additional reporting by Cindy Martin)

Editing by Philippa Fletcher

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