London Fashion Week kicks off 5-day whirlwind of shows

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

LONDON (AP) — Models and fashion insiders have descended on the British capital for London Fashion Week, the biannual style showcase featuring a five-day whirlwind of runway shows, parties and celebrity-spotting. Here are some of the day's highlights as the event kicked off Friday.



London Fashion Week has found a new home — and it's a parking lot.

Fashionistas and models are making themselves comfortable at central London's Brewer Street Car Park, an unremarkable building that has been transformed for a week into a catwalk space and a glamorous showroom for clothes, bags and shoes.

It's a far cry from the event's old headquarters, the stately, elegant Somerset House on the banks of the Thames. But the car park is smack in the heart of bustling Soho, right in the middle of the capital's densest concentration of shopping streets, theaters and gay bars.

It's gritty, brash — and very much London.

Judging from the scrum of photographers and curious passers-by on the narrow streets outside, the new location was generating unprecedented buzz for the event.



Primary colors aren't just for the crayon box — in the right hands they become properly grown-up and sultry.

For his new spring season, designer Jean-Pierre Braganza limited himself to a palette of monochrome plus pure blue, red and lemon yellow, but used each color to deliver maximum punch.

A series of attention-grabbing cobalt blue and marble-print outfits opened the show, which featured draped dresses and gowns, bold abstract-print satin, louche wide-leg trousers and lots of cleverly deconstructed tailoring details. Skirts, waistcoats and jackets come in flattering asymmetrical hems and folds — a modern, chic take on sexy.



Fashion designs may often be described as "playful," but they generally don't involve actual toys.

Not so at Fyodor Golan, the label by design duo Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman, who drew inspiration for their new season's designs from Transformers toys.

Guests received souvenir robots, the characters were printed onto sweatshirts, and one model wore a huge plastic Transformer robot head necklace. Where the robots didn't feature, there was a riot of cartoonish clashing color and textures: A heavy dose of neons, exaggerated ruffles, sequins, tulle, giant printed roses and metallic panels.

It's all pure whimsy and fun, right down to the models' fantastical platform sandals. Reminiscent of Japanese geisha shoes, they are so tall they lift the wearer almost a foot off the ground.



Luxury heritage brand Daks staged its show away from the hustle and bustle, choosing instead a quiet, elegant town square across London — a location that reflected its understated designs.

Better known for its menswear and tailoring, the brand showed a new spring womenswear collection featuring Art Deco-inspired diamond tile prints, as well as retro bell sleeves, flowing '70s baby doll dresses and rust-colored jackets.

Tailored suits were brought up to date with a wide suede belt that cinched the figure. Many of the outfits were prim and chic, if not adventurous — perfect work wear for some.


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