ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: UK: FASHION

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by AP Archive

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01.30.2024



(26 Feb 1999) English/Nat

FASHION CONTINUES IN LONDON DESPITE THE ODD DEFECTION

Despite a growing reputation for tardiness and several defections, the message from more than 40 designers who showed fashions for autumn and winter was that London Fashion Week is still cool.

It’s almost habitual now for London shows to start late – and this time there were 2,000 fashion buyers and more than 800 journalists to keep happy. OWEN GASTER, a skillful cutter with a taste for the sexy, starry look, apologized Wednesday (24/2) for starting
nearly 90 minutes past the stipulated time, pushing following shows
back by an hour or more.

HARRIET WORSLEY, who writes for the trade magazine Drapers
Record, said buyers this time «have all been saying that
although the event has been less dramatic, it has been
quietly professional and very good commercially. “It’s a pity if leading designers do pull out but there are always new designers who will replace them. ”

More than 140 designers exhibited jewelry, hats, scarves
and shoes, the largest number ever. Key notes for autumn and winter 1999/2000 are nostalgia and ethnic chic. Or «organic retro, big skirts, quilty, Victorian and peasant,» as TANYA SARNE of GHOST summarized it. «Moody images from the archives of American photographer DIS FARMER, the midwest American portrait phogographer of the Thirties and Forties meets Victorian peasants,» enthused the husband and wife design team SUZANNE CLEMENTS and INACIO RIBEIRO.

Ghost offered sheer chiffon tops with whispers of beading, high-necked, delicately embroidered Victorian blouses in pale jade, primrose and buttermilk, and floor-length quilty skirts.

At PAUL SMITH, the most commercially successful British designer, ‘aristo-chic’ ruled the day. The designer, famed for his impeccably cut men’s suits, presented a collection inspired by the past. Prince of Wales’ check suits twere teamed with bright tops to enliven the bleak Winter months. It was feminine, wearable and chic – but unlikely to set the fashion world on fire.

At the other end of the spectrum, TRISTAN WEBBER presented a futuristic collection. Tight leather skirts and trousers were teamed with contrasting shell tops in bold colours. Headwear came more in the form of helmets – in the obligatory leather, and also metal.

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