London Fashion Week Day 3: Temperley, Westwood

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

LONDON (AP) — London Fashion Week swung into Day 3 Sunday, packed from morning to night with next season's womenswear offerings from dozens of designers.

Fashionistas were spoilt for choice, with Temperley, Topshop Unique, Paul Smith and Pringle of Scotland all showing their spring and summer collections.

And amid the blur of models and catwalks, British fashion's grandest dame Vivienne Westwood was keen to draw the fashion crowd's attention to politics, using her runway to help campaign for Scottish independence.

Among the day's highlights:



Looking cool and stylish has never been so comfortable: Just ditch the heels, and stick to sneakers.

You know flat shoes are in when a designer like Alice Temperley, who specializes in ladylike occasion wear, makes her models wear lace-up canvas sneakers with everything.

The designer said she wanted a younger, more relaxed daywear look for the upcoming spring and summer, and Sunday's show is just that: All rolled-up trousers, loose shirt-dresses, flowing kimonos, and soft, fluid takes on the man's three-piece suit.

Actress Alice Eve, who recently starred in "Star Trek: Into Darkness," was in the front row with pop star Nicole Scherzinger.

"I love a heel, but flats are good for the day," said Eve, who was beginning filming of a new movie "Criminal," with Kevin Costner. "She made it work. I think it was a clever and bold collection."

Temperley opened her show with androgynous looks that played with men's suiting, but these looks were chic and feminine instead of manly, coming in monochrome checks, a pastel pink and blue palette, and floaty chiffons. A cropped trench coat was cut high in the back to reveal a glimpse of bare waist.

Dresses, separates and kimonos in vibrant checks, stripes and marine prints followed, taking the audience from city nights out to cocktails by the beach.

The collection was classy as always, and would likely appeal to a wider clientele than the typical Temperley customer.



Vivienne Westwood may be staging a catwalk show, but Scotland — not clothes — is foremost on the designer's mind.

Never one to shy away from making a political statement, the eccentric 73-year-old used her runway Sunday to urge Scots to vote "Yes" to breaking away from the United Kingdom in Thursday's referendum.

Westwood proudly wore a "Yes" badge, and sent her models down the catwalk sporting the same badge prominently on their lapels or hats.

"I am so excited, fingers crossed they will win. Because, if they do, it could be the turning point towards a better world. They could lead by example," read a statement that was placed on every guest's seat.

She had stronger words backstage, where she spoke passionately about social injustices and the lack of real democracy in England. She denounced those who support staying in the U.K. as "frightened and stupid."

"I hate England. I like Scotland because somehow I think they are better than we are. They are more democratic," she told reporters.

What about the fashion? Fans and fashionistas know that the Red Label show almost never strays from Westwood's signature femme fatale style, whatever the latest trends are. There were bustiers, beautifully draped blouses and dresses, micro shorts and saucy outfits that show off the female shape.

Over the past few years clothes have played second fiddle for Westwood, who is more keen to devote her attention to causes from climate change to campaigning for WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange.

Westwood said she plans to scale down her production and focus on quality over quantity, although she has no plans to retire — if only to continue to use it as a platform for activism.

"It gives me an opportunity to try to say things," she said. "People do listen because they like to hear people who stick their heads out to say a few things."



Sporty shorts, flirty mini skirts, sweet baby-doll tops, sparkly party dresses — Topshop Unique had it all in a collection that spoke of party nights and carefree days.

As befits the youthful feel of the brand, the show's front row was lined with young female starlets from singer Ellie Goulding to actress Laura Carmichael — or Lady Edith — from "Downton Abbey."

Model of the moment Cara Delevingne opened the retail giant's show in a white, blue and red tennis dress hemmed with frills, and closed proceedings in a sheer nude pleated cocktail dress adorned with silver sequins. In between, there were more sporty outfits in bold stripes, swishy pleated skirts, bowling bags, and separates in abstract floral prints.

The collection seemed more girly than usual, with many frilly little cocktail numbers in lemon yellow, satin red and silver.