London Fashion Week ends with new confidence

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London Fashion Week drew to a close Tuesday after five days of shows that commentators said marked a new maturity for the event -- despite a few catwalk tumbles and the odd naked model.

Three new designers were added to this season's official schedule and one hatmaker sent his models out nude, proving that London remains the adventurous younger sibling to the New York, Paris and Milan fashion shows.

But the presence of global glamour house Burberry alongside veterans Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood has raised London's game, and commentators have noted an increasing maturity here that demands to be taken seriously.

"I think it's very polished, London, it's very sophisticated. It's lost that feeling of craziness, but at the same time the actual designs are new. It feels much more relevant now," said British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman.

The gravity of the event was aided by Monday's memorial service for the late designer Alexander McQueen, who committed suicide in February.

Among those who attended the ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral were US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, "Sex in the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker, Icelandic pop star Bjork and models Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.

Wintour and Parker attended the Burberry Prorsum show late Tuesday, along with tennis star Serena Williams, to watch a collection dominated by leather jackets and trousers contrasted with soft fabrics and bright accessories.

The models wore sky-high platform pumps which were clearly hard to walk in -- two models had to remove them and another took an embarassing tumble.

Classic Burberry trenches were recreated in patent beige, black leather and green snakeskin prints, while soft, bright-coloured shifts and figure-hugging frocks were contrasted with cropped, zip-laden black biker jackets.

Quilted beige jackets were matched with clutch bags in mint green and turquoise, and belts in the same colour in patent leather or snakeskin print.

The bright colours echoed the neons that have peppered other shows here this weekend, including Christopher Kane and the newly returned Giles Deacon.

Kane offered up intricate designes in lace, graphic print and embroidery -- all in shocking pinks, oranges and greens. He explained: "Working in neon gets the heart going."

© 2010 AFP

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