Feb 21, 2012
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Androgyny and futuristic fashion light up London

Feb 21, 2012

LONDON - Futuristic designs, bright colours, sequins and androgynous styles dominated the catwalks at London Fashion Week on Tuesday, with designers drawing inspiration for their creations from literature, paintings and even their own husbands' wardrobes.

Roksanda Ilincic - AW 2012/13 / Photo: Pixel Formula

Serbian-born designer Roksanda Ilincic experimented with androgyny in her turquoise, burgundy, navy and ivory autumn/winter 2012 collection, which featured oversized jackets, loosely tailored trousers and baggy hooded sweatshirts tucked into tightly fitting skirts.

"My inspiration came from leisurewear, weekend wear, countryside wear so all the kinds of pieces of our wardrobe that are kind of somewhere hidden," Ilincic told Reuters after her show in west London.

Menswear also provided inspiration for the fur, woven and ribbed jersey designs she sent down the catwalk, its influence most evident in a gold and navy flecked suit with navy panel quilted sleeves, a patched elbow brown blazer and red dungarees.

"It is a little bit about women rebelling at having to look immaculate all the time and wanting to become more free like a man. You know Katharine Hepburn with the trousers and man's jacket so it kind of started like that," the designer whose creations have been worn by U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, said.

Ilincic, who said one of her husband's patterns had inspired her, offset menswear-influenced elements with feminine touches like embroidery on silk, a revealing half-turquoise, half-navy maxi dress with an asymmetric open back and red tops and dresses embellished with intricate black sequins and beading.


In a more girly showing, Holly Fulton dressed her models in bright pink and vivid turquoise dresses featuring geometric deco prints and teamed them with black tights and patent court shoes.

The collection is for bold women and was inspired by D.H. Lawrence's novel, "Lady Chatterley's Lover," which tells the tale of an affair between an aristocratic woman and a working-class man, Fulton told Reuters.

"My style is influenced by art deco and graphic pop art," she said, adding that the woman who wears her clothes "wants to feel like they're going to catch someone's eye."

Earlier, designer David Koma sent his models out wearing futuristic black, white, blue and purple designs. The girls sported side-parted ponytails and bold lipstick as they strutted down the runway in dresses featuring cut-out panels with sheer mesh sleeves and peplum details on jackets and skirts.

Inspired by French paintings of dogs wearing clothes and the futuristic designs of the 1960s, Koma opted for high collars and ruched draping to accentuate the female figure.

"I was inspired by those dog portraits by Thierry Poncelet, which I think are quite amazing. Because they are very very classy, but quite twisted. So I thought that's a good start," Koma told Reuters.

Wools, furs and silks were prominent in his collection.

Ashish's show was more exotic and exuded a hippy feel, with models wearing pink, gold and white sequined jackets over mullet hem tunics which swished around behind them as they paced the runway in rainbow-soled boots.

Yellow sequined smiley faces were set against a background of black sequins, sequined Buddha faces made several appearances and messages like "be happy," "relax" and "don't go" were emblazoned across knitted jumpers.

"I feel it really stood out from the other shows... I think if you want to make a statement this is the perfect designer," The Saturdays singer Mollie King told Reuters.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; addtional reporting by Ethan Bilby and Li-mei Hoang, editing by Paul Casciato)

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