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Everything British at London Fashion Week

09-21-2011 09:25 BJT

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For London Fashion Week on Monday, Burberry's design chief Christopher Bailey wowed a star-studded crowd with dozens of variations of the trench coat. A day earlier, two other visionaries of the British fashion scene Matthew Williamson and Paul Smith also presented their collection for the new season.

The Burberry show is the week-long fashion extravaganza's glitziest production, and drew a well-groomed crowd of celebrities including Kanye West, actresses Sienna Miller and Gemma Arterton, and tennis star Andy Murray.

Bailey, who has been at the helm of the historic brand's designs for a decade, has been credited with revitalizing the once out-of-date fashion house and boosting its international style credentials.

For the spring and summer 2012 season, he dished up a commercially savvy collection that ensured the clothes suited all tastes.

Bailey said he wanted to celebrate nearly forgotten traditional crafts, such as hand weaving and beading, and juxtapose it with the digital technology that the brand is embracing.

Christopher Bailey, fashion designer, said, "I wanted the whole show to be this contradiction of this beautiful artisanal craftsmanship and celebrating these traditional crafts that may be disappearing so crochet and knit and beading and hand weaving and I like also the contradiction of it with digital technology and the speed of digital technology so the show is all being live streamed and we're doing a two-walk and all the other great things to talk to people around the world, but I like the fact that what we're actually showing takes time and it's slow and it's really beautiful skills."

A model presents an outfit by Burberry Prorsum at the West
Albert Lawns in Kensington Gore, during London Fashion week,
Mon., Sept. 19, 2011.

A day earlier on Sunday, British designer Matthew Williamson showed off his collection for Spring/Summer 2012, held in the Turbine Hall of London's Tate Modern art gallery.

This collection had been inspired by the fusion of nature and technology and Japanese culture.

After fifteen years in the business, where he has been known for his use of color, print and embellishment, this collection did not stray away from these signature looks. And after all those years in the business, his creative juices are still very much flowing: Williamson is just about to launch his new diffusion line, MW.

Matthew Williamson, fashion designer, said, "You never stop working as a designer. I think when you're not working, you're still looking for ideas. But it's a job I love, so I'm very lucky to still love it fifteen years on."

For some, Nottingham born designer Paul Smith embodies the essence of British Fashion. His signature style of "classic with a twist" has made him both a household name and one of the UK's biggest exports.

With a palette moving from soft pastels to rich bright hues, Smith on Sunday presented his Spring/Summer 2012 collection that was both wearable and fresh.

Even in tough economic times, Smith's collections are selling well in the global market, something the designer attributes to the fact that people can mix and match within his ensembles.

Paul Smith, fashion designer, said, "Because, you know we're all a bit worried about money at the moment, with the madness that is happening in the world what I try to do is have clothes you can add to your wardrobe that exist so those beautiful jackets you could put with a white t-shirt or blue jeans or the bright colored trousers would go with an existing or your boyfriend's shirt. So it's very easy to add. Then of course the important thing is accessories, because you can liven up an existing outfit by a hat, a scarf, a belt, a bag, some shoes."

In all, Paul Smith Spring/Summer 2012 sees a fluid, elegant collection, which although lacking a little in glamour, is extremely wearable.

A model presents an outfit by Burberry Prorsum at the West
Albert Lawns in Kensington Gore, during London Fashion week,
Mon., Sept. 19, 2011.

A model works the runway for the Issa London show during
London Fashion Week on Sept. 17, 2011.



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