Sep 23, 2009
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London designers go bright and bold

Sep 23, 2009

LONDON, Sept 22, 2009 (AFP) - Bright colours and bold, graphic prints dominated the collections at London Fashion Week this season, while the influence of the 1980s also pervaded with metallics and jumpsuits all the rage.

Basso & Brooke at London Fashion Week - Photo: AFP

A number of designers played it safe with white, cream and grey for their spring/summer 2010 lines but there were many more who decided to welcome in a new decade in a riot of colours and patterned cloth.

British-Brazilian duo Basso and Brooke pioneered the use of digital prints for fashion, but the technique has spread and was seen this week on everyone from Kinder Aggugini to emerging designers Danielle Scutt and Peter Pilotto.

"When I started it was a very different story," Bruno Basso, one half of the duo and a one-time graphic designer, told AFP after their show on Tuesday 22 September.

"Five years ago the fashion was very dull. They said, 'you're crazy, nobody is going to ever wear that amount of colour'. But you give people time and... I'm thinking now is the time."

For their latest collection, Basso and Brooke kept to their trademark multicoloured graphic prints in every colour of the rainbow, but added more structure through draped fabric at the neckline and hips.

They create all their designs on computer, before sending them off to be cut and put together -- resulting in flawless finishing and razor sharp prints.

Emerging designers Peter Pilotto and Mary Katrantzou have both used graphic prints for their collections, while another young talent, Danielle Scutt, used pink and white pixel spots on skin-tight dresses for a gingham effect.

Meanwhile Kinder Aggugini, who worked for two decades with Versace, John Galliano and Calvin Klein, put on a joyful collection of blue, pink and black snakeskin prints and graphic tiger stripes for his second solo show here.

Colourful palettes were also seen at Matthew Williamson and Nicole Fahri, while Paul Smith's collection matched many different fabrics, prints and colours together to create a patchwork effect.

Some designers opted for the classic summer look with predominately white collections, however, including Paul Costelloe, who embellished white structured shifts with metallic embroidery.

John Rocha and last year's winner of the prestigious Fashion Fringe award, Eun Jeong, both used lace embellishments on their white pieces, while Turkish-born Bora Aksu matched whites and golds with rock-chic tights.

Metallics remain another key trend here, with Pringle of Scotland offering fine mesh knits in bronze and gold and Matthew Williamson showing a selection of sheer, short dresses, bronze high-waisted shorts and silver beaded shifts.

Meanwhile Jaeger London, the younger, hipper label of the luxury Jaeger brand, sent its models down the runway in gold harlem pants, gold tuxedoes matched with wide black shorts and gold blouses flecked with black and red.

Emphasising the 1980s influence, jumpsuits were also firmly back in fashion, whether ballooning with turned up shorts at Nicole Fahri, bright orange at Jaeger or grey sleeveless with matching jackets at Peter Pilotto.

There was also a lot of flesh on display this week, with many designers favouring cut out shapes and an abundance of pointy bras and bodices at Louise Goldin and Antonio Berardi.

Loose knits left little to the imagination at Pringle and at Mark Fast, the young knitwear designer who caused a stir here by sending three larger models down the runway in his trademark peek-through tight dresses.

Skirts remained sky-high across most of the collections, but they ranged between pretty doll dresses to skin-tight pieces and loose shifts, and many were structured into tulip shapes or with pleats and folds.

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