Celebrity fans rock up at fashion designer event

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London Fashion Week recently concluded and threw down the gauntlet to rival cities on the global circuit after successfully showcasing a dozen of fashion’s big hitters.
Shine

London Fashion Week recently concluded and threw down the gauntlet to rival cities on the global circuit after successfully showcasing two of fashion’s big hitters: Emporio Armani and Tommy Hilfiger. Meanwhile, quintessential British brands like Burberry went retro with an old design, while innovative fashionistas, like Christopher Kane, served a mixed-up of housecoats and lingerie.

Burberry

Remember the Burberry check, so ubiquitous and widely copied in the early 2000s that it became a fashion faux pas? It's back this season, in a big way.

The vintage brown check is everywhere on Burberry's new season runway: on baseball caps, oversized tote bags and belted coats for both men and women. And that's just one of many themes designer Christopher Bailey featured this season. There's tartan, reimagined military coats and riding shirts, plastic outerwear, sheer embroidered dresses, plus cosy pink faux fur coats.

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Burberry

If that sounds like a lot, it was deliberately meant to be so. Bailey said he wanted to celebrate the "sheer glorious eccentricity of the British way of dressing," and delivered an unexpectedly sassy, street-wise mix of a collection in an 18th-century London courthouse, a fitting venue with its raw exposed walls and huge chandeliers.

The opening look had it all: Brown check baseball cap, pastel turquoise plastic raincoat, patchwork print knits, worn with a single huge earring.

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Burberry

Everything was worn with an air of "anything goes" insouciance — a delicate embroidered gown is paired with a loose T-shirt or slouchy scarf — and there is a throwaway sexiness in a tartan skirt that, when the model turns around, reveals the back was sheer plastic. Bailey said he had his models tell him if they liked the outfits, and adjust them if they felt they were "too done or too sophisticated."

Supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell were among those who turned up for the show, which was staged together with — and inspired by — an exhibition of 20th-century photography showing portraits of British life.

Emporio Armani

The 83-year-old Italian design legend, who usually stages his shows in Milan, has returned to London Fashion Week for the first time in years with much fanfare.

To mark the reopening of an Emporio Armani flagship store in the British capital, the brand hosted a star-studded catwalk show and an after-party with free-flowing champagne, and it displayed a giant "Emporio Armani" light projection onto a Thames-side building.

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Emporio Armani

The designer chose a vast former warehouse for his show on Sunday, filling it with cheerful, rainbow-hued summer outfits that evoke carefree vacations in sunnier climes.

It's a larger collection than most, and while these may not be the most trend-setting clothes there is something here for everyone: Sporty summer macs and loose drawstring cargo pants; whimsical, childlike animal prints; girlish frilly summer dresses; neat cropped blazers with white slacks and casual flat sandals or white sneakers. A few male models sporting the designer's signature suits were scattered throughout, striking a slightly odd chord in an otherwise casual collection.

Emporio Armani

Standout looks included trouser suits with candy stripes and oversized, multi-colored checks, and there was a large array of outfits in sheer pastel tones of lilac, mint and candy pink.

One Direction's Liam Payne and singer Ellie Goulding were among those spotted in the show's front row.

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane mixed it all up Monday at London Fashion Week, showing a wide array of outfits, with some emphasizing florals to others that were sheer, lacy and revealing.

He described the show as built on "ideas of the prime and the perverse" — referencing 1940s housecoats, using lingerie as outerwear and creating a new silhouette that blended the 1940s with the 1970s.

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Christopher Kane

The outfits used strong colors — reds, pinks and yellows, among other hues — and showed off whimsical touches, including ones that seemed to be held together by metallic clothes pins.

The celebrity filled audience loved it.

"I loved it being so English, being about washing machines and clothes pegs and everything like that," top hatmaker Stephen Jones said. "British. Domestic."

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Christopher Kane

Actress Salma Hayek called Kane's new collection sexy and appreciated the "slip dresses that were so feminine."

"It was great," she said. "It was glittery romantic, but at the same time it had drama and sophistication and not too sweet, sweet, sweet. You know, it has a little bit of a punch. And sexy, sexy."

Tommy Hilfiger

Designer Tommy Hilfiger staged a grungy rock affair for their show on the final night of London Fashion Week.

The Tuesday show was presented at London’s Roundhouse, where concert-style merchandise stalls had pieces from the TOMMYNOW collection available to purchase around the venue. The outfits included leather jackets with leopard print collars, worn with cropped denim shorts and beanie hats.

AFP

Tommy Hilfiger

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