Feb 21, 2010
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British designers centre-stage at London Fashion Week

Feb 21, 2010

LONDON, Feb 21, 2010 (AFP) - Sculptured dresses made of stiffened wool, bright prints and heavy jewelling returned to London Fashion Week on Sunday 21 February as Matthew Williamson led a day dominated by established British designers.

Photo: www.matthewwilliamson.com

Williamson caused huge excitement when he returned to London last September after years of showing in New York -- and his autumn/winter 2010 show had all the glamour, sophistication and colour that his fans expect.

Opening with a structured grey dress with protrusions in stiffened wool and a cape-style top, Williamson offered sumptuous fur coats, collars and gilets matched with playful bright dresses and multicoloured prints.

Belts inlaid with huge jewels were laid on sparkling wrapped mini-dresses, tapered trousers had glittery detailing down the front, and bolero jackets were embellished with swirling fans of fabric at the shoulders and heavy beading.

Among Williamson's friends in the front row were actress Sienna Miller and 1960s model Twiggy, who said he was "the best".

"I think it's really exciting, because he's totally evolved. The last couple of seasons he's been heading in a totally new direction and I think this is cementing it," said Miller, whose own Twenty8Twelve line is showing here.

Earlier, Betty Jackson opened the day of British talent with a collection using wools, leathers, furs, silks and swirling and horizontal prints inspired by the sunsets and colour blends of English artist JMW Turner.

One year off the 30th anniversary of her collection, she was on trend with denim drainpipe trousers and a matching cape-like top, and a high-waisted denim skirt worn with a black leather crop-top.

Aubergine corduroy trousers with big pockets and mannish jackets in a shiny brown tweed-like material paid tribute to the trend for masculine clothing also seen at Margaret Howell, who matched boyfriend trousers with slouchy big knits.

Celebrating 40 years since she founded her label, Howell used multiple layers with mannish suits showing untucked shirts underneath.

Oversized shirt dresses in corduroy, red, and blue and black checks were matched with long-belted cardigans or under a fitted classic red jumper -- always belted, with a thin leather strap to define the waist.

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