LONDON: Make-believe forests, Dalmatians and lipstick red hues all starred on the catwalks at London Fashion Week on Sunday, as designers injected a sense of whimsical fun and bold statement into their Autumn Winter 2011 collections.English luxury brand Mulberry got the fourth day of the fashion extravaganza off to a storybook start with a setting inspired by Roald Dahl’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” while flamboyant fur coats and animal details featured heavily at both Unique by Topshop and Matthew Williamson’s shows.Emma Hill, Mulberry’s creative director, said the fairy-tale setting of the brand’s show at Claridge’s Hotel was a Dahl-inspired fantasy come to life.”I was obsessed by the story as a child,” Hill told The Associated Press. “I was so impressed by the Englishness of it all.”Featuring duffel jackets thrown over long skirts, Hill married carefree with elegant — the moment where a woman tosses her coat over a maxi dress and slips off into the night.The fantasy forest mood was carried over with impressive detail for those attending, from cupcakes decorated to look like toadstools to the benches that seemed hewn from deep brown logs.And what’s a forest without a few animals? Dogs with little Mulberry jackets dotted the benches. Sitting in the front row was Guinness, a 3-year-old Swiss mountain dog, who had his own Mulberry bag hanging around his neck. (Mulberry doesn’t yet make a jacket in his size, but at least his bag was full of doggie biscuits.)”I think he got distracted by the Terrier,” said his owner, lawyer Fiona McNulty, who added that the maxi dresses also kept blowing into his nose.But as might be expected for a company whose heritage is the handbag, the show focused heavily on arm candy — the carefully crafted bags found dangling from the arms of celebrities such as Alexa Chung, who even has one named after her.
Some of the classic designs, such as spring’s best-selling “Tillie” was shown in deeper autumn hues, with its classic toggles echoed in the coat that made its way down the runway.The show featured deep blues and violets, combined with classic camels and browns. An electric green was also tossed in now and again. With much of the world soon to focus on Britain because of the upcoming royal wedding, Hill said it was a good time to focus on roots. “We’re having a bit of an English fest.”Other designers showing their new collections Sunday include heavyweight name Vivienne Westwood and also Temperley London, which is making a return to London Fashion Week from New York for the first time in years.American designer Tom Ford was also presenting his womenswear collection Sunday, but only select magazine editors were invited to the private appointments. Publicists said no photographs or details of the collection would be released.
Like Mulberry, Unique by Topshop, the designer line of the popular high street retailer, also featured animals — with a whimsical collection of cartoonish, canine-themed clothes.The theme was 1930s high society glamor mixed with “101 Dalmatians” as models sported high poodle buns, tinsel minidresses, and lashings of fur — both faux, and in brushed mohair and sheepskin.A bulky, furry white coat with black Dalmatian spots opened the show to a soundtrack of barks, and thereafter the same print was everywhere — on platform ankle boots, bomber jackets, collar trims and clutchbags. Greyhounds and whippets made an appearance too as miniature prints on blouses and shoes.Oversized marabou arms in camel or black added fun to all-in-one jumpsuits and a crushed velvet dress, and the look was finished with bold art deco style jewelry.Fashion’s best-known editor, Vogue’s Anna Wintour attended the show, though it’s a mystery what she thought of it — she dashed to the exit through a back door before journalists could reach her.
Big, fluffy fur coats appeared again as the star of the show at Matthew Williamson, though here they came embellished with rows of metallic trims and came in more subdued tones of greys and browns.Sequins, buttery quilted leather and feather hems add glamor and glitz. One particularly eye-catching hooded coat was covered entirely in sequins of gradated blue tones, set off by a dark fur lining.Tropical colors of coral and lime — a continuation from Williamson’s spring collection — were used in satiny cigarette pants and blouses, adding delicious pops of color to an palette of black, greys and lipstick red – Yahoonews