LONDON Fashion Week kicked off yesterday with its organisers keen to capture the Olympics “buzz”.
Scottish designers Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders, as well as Erdem and Roksanda Ilincic, are among the highlights of the extravaganza featuring more than 60 runway previews for spring 2013.
The first catwalk show of the event was Antoni & Alison, which saw the design duo showcase their spring-summer 2013 designs.
Antoni Burakowski said he and Alison Roberts had gone back to basics with their collection, which is made up of floaty dresses with colourful and striking patterns printed on them. The pair had hoped to do something special to celebrate their silver anniversary.
Roberts summed up their designs as “chic and beautiful and arty”.
The show was introduced with a theatrical fanfare from a brass band – with the 24th Invicta Rifles continuing to play as the models sashayed down the runway.
One of the most keenly awaited events will be a comeback show by milliner Philip Treacy.
He has designed and made hats for Sarah Jessica Parker, Madonna, Lady Gaga and members of the Royal family, and is returning for the first time in almost a decade.
Libby Banks, editor of fashion website mydaily.co.uk, said she expected the success of the Olympics and Paralympics to translate through to fashion, with British designers becoming bolder and more experimental than ever.
She said: “Britishness is cool again. I think we have got a new confidence.
“After the summer that we’ve had, I expect that designers will channel it into their work, and we’ll see a celebration of Britishness and also a confidence to do something completely different and new.”
Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, which organises London Fashion Week, said the event had got off to a “fantastic start”.
“This summer has shown London in its best light, highlighting the city’s creativity and unique DNA.
“September is set to be an extremely exciting season in what has been an amazing year for the UK.”
Asked what sets London apart from the other big fashion weeks – Paris, New York and Milan – she said: “We have a real breadth of talent here that the others don’t have.
“We have great brands, we have incredible iconic designers and we also have this real energy from our young and emerging designers, and it’s that creativity and the innovation that comes out of London that sets us apart.”
Ms Rush said she expected the biggest shows of the week to be Burberry, Mulberry and Philip Treacy’s comeback.
She also said that the UK fashion industry provides a £21 billion direct contribution to the economy every year and gives employment to more than 800,000 people.
An estimated £100 million of orders are expected to be placed during the prestigious event, according to the British Fashion Council.
Around 100 designers are set to showcase their latest collections, with cutting-edge labels PPQ, Louise Gray and Erdem touted as the hottest tickets in town. Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said it was exciting time for the industry.
She also told how the Duchess of Cambridge’s new role as a world fashion icon would help draw even more attention to this year’s show.
She said: “London has this very unique position, we’re known as the creative capital of this global fashion industry.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east