London Fashion Week: Jasper Conran goes green; Hunter Original eyes rain; Sibling seeks sun

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LONDON — London Fashion Week is emphasizing downtown chic this year over British tradition, abandoning its home in the venerable Somerset House on the River Thames for a converted parking garage in Soho.

At the glitzy five-day fashion extravaganza on Saturday, the audience appeared with more expensively-torn jeans than with neckties. Here's a look at some London Fashion Week shows:


Jasper Conran started things off Saturday by showing shades of green in a series of relaxed outfits comprising his spring and summer 2016 collection.

The pieces were a confident celebration of summer, with easy lines, clean detailing and a minimum of fuss. Models wore their hair long and natural.

Dozens of shades of green were on display, some in prints, some standing alone, others mixed with white. The designer seemed to be running out of adjectives to explain the pallet: "leaf green prints" or "bottle green" or "avocado."

He put an emphasis on thick stripes, often offset by handbags with stripes of the same dimension but in slightly different shades.

Comfortable cotton jersey tops and slacks were seen as well as fancier dresses made of silk. Jackets were revealing, in most cases with only a single button.

Sandals were gold and strappy — but that was about it for bling, save for a few sparkly, semi-sheer evening outfits.


The designers at Hunter Original used a tent-style setting Saturday to introduce a new style of outdoor gear designed for the summer music festival season.

And the festivals they have in mind seem to be in England, Scotland and Wales, since much of the collection was designed to help the hip partygoer cope with rain.

The brand, which specializes in cool, outdoor-inspired clothes and its trademark Wellington boot, offered fanciful, colorful raingear, lighter than the traditional Burberry trench.

Some outfits had a whimsical Alice in Wonderland quality, with models in long blond hair styled as woodland nymphs.

Hunter's clout was evident in the front row crowd, which included prominent designer Stella McCartney — wearing a black dress with a dramatically plunging neckline — sitting next to American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who wore a print dress and her familiar sunglasses. Actress Salma Hayek was also there.


If Hunter Original was preparing for rain, Sibling was expecting sun, and plenty of it.

Sibling showed off exuberant, sexy beachwear, suggesting that its clientele might jet off to Spain or Italy rather than head for English rain-soaked music festivals once July rolls around.

The male fashion sweepstakes, at least for the audience, was won by a man wearing a Derek Jeter New York Yankees jersey, complete with pinstripes, paired with sequined blue jeans and bright yellow sneakers with a black dot pattern.

The runway clothes were a bit more subtle, but they were designed only for the tall and the thin — and those who don't mind revealing vast amounts of skin.

Some models wore tiny bikini bottoms, outrageous red high heels, skimpy tops and plastic capes. A few outfits were silly but the show made it seem that summer is not too far away.


If a brand's glamour quotient can be measured by how late their show begins, the Versus by Versace line may have won the sweepstakes Saturday, starting its London Fashion Week show a good half-hour late.

But Donatella Versace made up for it with a hard rock band that opened the show spectacularly — no recorded music for this label — and with the sparkling wine and chilled margaritas offered immediately after the finale as the show merged seamlessly into an after-party.

In between, she and creative director Anthony Vaccarello showed sexy rock chick clothes — think form-fitting black, black and more black, often with asymmetrical tops and skirts with extremely high slits — and male models wearing black floral prints that would have been favored by Jimi Hendrix and Prince. This was what the 60s would have looked like if an expert tailor had been working behind the scenes — and if men covered their entire bodies with tattoos.

There was an Italian flair to the entire affair, a welcome change after a day that emphasized the beauty of the English rose. This was more sensual, naughtier, and more fun — some ensembles featured tight short dresses with prominent zippers and a row of Versace silver medallions that served no function beyond offering a bit of flair.

This was Versace's youthful line, not its most expensive, carefully crafted ensembles, and it seemed to capture a party vibe as London Fashion week kicked into high gear.

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