Feb 24, 2015
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Five themes from London Fashion Week

Feb 24, 2015

London Fashion Week draws to a close on Tuesday after five days that have showcased an eclectic range of talent, from luxury brands to rising stars.

Burberry Prorsum - PixelFormula

Here are five themes from the autumn/winter 2015 collections.

- Party on, girl -

Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson looked to Berlin before the fall of the wall for an eclectic, Eighties-inspired collection for his J.W. Anderson label.

There were tops and tunics with puffed-out shoulders and sleeves, and cords tucked into knee-high leather boots. "The bottom line is girls having fun," he said.

Felder Felder - PixelFormula

German twins Daniela and Annette Felder, who together form Felder Felder, also took inspiration from Berlin, this time in the Sixties, a time of hedonism, politics and sex.

There were short, swinging skirts in laser cut faux leather in red or black, matched with tops tied at the bust, as well as shaggy faux fur coats.

And who wouldn't want to be seen on the dance floor with a girl wearing the glitter ball crystal-studded frock from David Koma, the Georgian-born designer who has dressed Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Kylie?

- Fur, or almost -

High-street store Topshop had furry stoles, cuffs and coat edging for the Unique collection that for the first time took its signature urban look into the countryside, along with cords and floral patterned frocks.

Serbian-born designer Roksanda had acid-coloured fur coats, gilets and wraps belted into tiny-waisted full skirts, matched with blue or orange furry clutches.

Roksanda - PixelFormula

There were also furry clutches at Hunter Original, home to the famous boots, and furry panels on practical coats showed off by models walking on a runway beneath two cascading waterfalls.

Meanwhile luxury house Mulberry used dried thistles to brush up its wool to look and feel like fur.

The plants are attached to a rotating column on a machine and when the wool is fed into it, "they extract the fibres and lengthen them out to create a fur-like texture", knitwear designer Jade Leong told AFP.

- Cover up those knees -

While hedonism ruled elsewhere on the catwalk, the full, calf-length skirt remains in vogue.

This season also saw its more practical cousin take centre stage -- the wide-legged calf-length trouser, seen both on and off the catwalk.

Emilia Wickstead - PixelFormula

Burberry had over-the-knee sheer flowering skirts and Roksanda had a more structured A-line version in geometric patterns in orange, purple, pink, blue and gold.

Emilia Wickstead's elegant formal wear -- beloved of the Duchess of Cambridge -- featured both pastel-coloured skirts and belted trousers that end below the knee, while veteran British designer Paul Smith matched his wide trousers with masculine suit jackets.

- Loving black -

British designer Gareth Pugh took black into a place of its own, with his highly conceptual, sculptural designs, this season built around the theme of a model army.

But black was also a favourite of many designers in London -- as veteran Julien Macdonald emphatically put it: "Black is a colour. Women like wearing black. I don't like navy blue, I like black."

David Koma - PixelFormula

British designer Giles used it in gothic, romantic frocks, while rising star Simone Rocha used it in rich fabrics shaped into oversized petals on velvet tops and skirts, tapestry-style capes or delicate embroidered tulle and ruffled silks.

David Koma had black frocks with fun flared cuffs and zips up the front and lots of leather, while Australian fashion label sass & bide -- also beloved of celebrities -- rocked the black, leather and metallic look.

- Fear of empty spaces -

Greek-born designer Mary Katrantzou chose a concept called "horror vacui", or fear of empty spaces, to explain her richly textured outfits, which she contrasted with minimalist, seamless frocks.

Preen by Thorton Bregazzi - PixelFormula

Burberry Prorsum also employed a wide variety of techniques in dresses and coats made up of a patchwork of prints and bold autumnal colours.

There was also a patchwork effect on the shirts, skirts and shearling coats at Preen, as well as heavy floral prints.

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