LONDON Feb 15 Monochrome dresses inspired by
Italian architecture and mirrored skyscrapers kicked off London
Fashion Week on Friday as designers showcased elegant and
minimalist creations for Autumn/Winter 2013.
British designer Zoe Jordan opened the London leg of the
international fashion circuit with grey corseted dresses and
flowing skirts, spiced up with splashes of bright amber and
dashes of fur.
An architect by training, Jordan said Italian cathedrals and
the urban skyline of Hong Kong inspired the sharp silhouettes
and metallic finishes of her designs.
"Living amongst those metallic, mirrored skyscrapers all the
time does definitely alter your vision a bit," Jordan, who
recently returned from a trip to Hong Kong, told Reuters after
"What we are trying to do is that nonchalant glamour, it's a
very London thing, you know, the girl who doesn't try too hard,"
Jordan said of her collection.
One of the big four catwalk fixtures alongside Paris, New
York and Milan, London Fashion Week is best known as a cradle
for cutting edge talent and avant-garde trends.
The city blends up-and-coming names with veteran designers
like Vivienne Westwood in a semi-annual burst of creativity to
entice recession-weary consumers back into shops.
The direct value of the British fashion industry to the UK's
$2.5 trillion economy is 21 billion pounds ($32.60 billion), the
British Fashion Council (BFC) said.
"London really stands out as a fashion week because they are
trying to help support younger designers and find emerging
talent. It's not just about praising the big guys, they're
looking for the next big thing," Jordan said.
London's art and design schools have been a treasure trove
for fashion talent, producing designers such as John Galliano,
Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and a raft of others.
Monochrome was echoed by the design duo Fyodor Golan (Fyodor
Podgorny and Golan Frydman), who presented a collection of
black, ivory and burnt pumpkin, adorned with baroque sketches or
embellished with beads.
Skirts and dresses were subtly sexy keeping thighs and
chests covered while showing off shoulders and the nape of the
"For us it's all about sexuality - exploring, showing it but
not in a perverse way - just going for it," Podgorny said of
London Fashion Week.
Looking ahead, the spotlight will shine on American designer
Tom Ford, who will be showcasing his womenswear on the catwalk
for the first time in London, having previously limited viewings
to select fashion insiders and editors of glossy magazines.
Singer Rihanna will add a touch of A-list glamour on
Saturday with the launch of her first clothing line with British
high street retailer River Island, one of the 56 catwalk shows
taking place over the five-day event.
"London fashion is crazy because you've got new designers,
you've got fashion, you've got parties...for me it's just about
showcasing your talent really," said British actress Jaime
Winstone from the front row of Jordan's show.
($1 = 0.6441 British pounds)
(Additional reporting by Katharina Urban-Oberberg and Dasha
Afanasieva, editing by Paul Casciato)