February 11, 2008 / 6:39 PM / 10 years ago

Conran charms London fashion shows

LONDON (Reuters) - Designer Jasper Conran sent models sashaying down the catwalk on Monday in sculpted dresses and bright emerald, clementine and carnation tights.

Cashmere and silk frocks with framed necklines, defined waists and rounded hips were the focus of Conran’s womenswear show on the second day of London Fashion Week.

Accessories were kept to a minimum, with short leather gloves and flat ballerinas.

“There has been a lot of embroideries and florals and I wanted to do something much more three dimensional, about silhouette, shape and form,” Conran told reporters after the show at the Royal Academy of Arts.

The designer is one of Britain’s most commercially successful and also designs clothes and homeware for British department store group Debenhams.

“Cut and shape and tailoring that’s what I do, what I love, and essentially this collection is the sum total of what I‘m about,” he said.

Another doyen of the London fashion scene, Paul Smith, showed his latest collection later at Claridge’s hotel. Smith, famous for his very British suits and stripy shirts, has stores in over 35 countries worldwide.

The palette progressed from sober black to a mix of black and beige, climaxing with vivid orange and green. Bright tights also featured at Smith’s ever popular show, although this time they were painted in brushstrokes of contrasting colours.

London Fashion Week opened on February 10 with a champagne-soaked reception and closes on February 15 after nearly 60 designers have shown their autumn/winter collection.

Hot tickets include up-and-coming designers Christopher Kane and Giles Deacon, but the most anticipated show is Vivienne Westwood’s return to London after a nine year absence to show her Red Label collection.

Marking her decision, Westwood’s managing director called on other top British designers, John Galliano, Alexander MacQueen and Burberry, to bring their younger diffusion lines to show in London and establish it as a commercial centre to rival Paris and Milan.

“Vivienne Westwood is making a commitment to show in London for the foreseeable future and I hope that I can count on my colleagues at other British brands to make a similar commitment to their spiritual home for it to be not just the global capital of creativity but a commercial centre also,” Managing Director of Vivienne Westwood Carlo D‘Amario said.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh

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