- Associated Press - Saturday, September 15, 2012

LONDON (AP) - A catwalk of faux grass and barefoot, denim-clad models took audiences to 1960s America. Sweet dungarees and clogs conjured up a fisherman’s tale at one show, while at another the fashion crowd feasted their eyes on a concoction of pastel ruffles as delectable as roses in full bloom.

Newcomers and established designers alike took audiences on flights of fancy on Day 2 of London Fashion Week Saturday, which showcased an eclectic range of women’s wear creations from the elegant to the whimsical, from the eminently wearable to structured works of art.

Britons Jasper Conran and John Rocha, two of the fashion week’s most established names, both showed Saturday, with the former delivering a surprisingly fun and youthful collection and the latter wowing the crowd with the sheer technique that went into his sculptural creations.

Also featured Saturday was Kinder Aggugini, former designer at Versace; Huishan Zhang, a Chinese-born talent who delivered a refined debut show of reworked Chinese motifs; and Moschino Cheap and Chic, the Italian brand’s diffusion line.



Conran’s signature look is pared-down British elegance, but for next spring he offered up a playful selection on a retro Americana theme: Psychedelic flowers, blue jeans, stars and stripes, Woodstock and multi-colored patchwork.

Models walked on a catwalk made of a bed of faux grass to the tunes of Carole King, and the look was part cool cowgirl, part folksy flower children. There were denim vests, shorts and straight cut jeans, some embroidered with flowers and doves, others adorned by a silver sequined hem. Later models wore crochet, patchwork or kaleidoscope print dresses.

Prints were childlike and irreverent (think huge print of a cherry on a white shirt) and the palette was as cheerful as it gets: Bubblegum pink, coral, mustard, lime, and a tangerine that Conran called “Fanta orange.”



Voluminous hooped skirts, ruffles and layers of sheer organza dominated the catwalk at Ireland-based John Rocha’s show, which resembled a beautiful English garden of sculpted flowers.

A red strapless dress with an exaggerated tulip shape opened the show, its large organza ruffles imitating the frail petals of a flower.

The hooped, textured skirt then appeared layered over trousers and under sheer organza jackets. It was also repeated to great effect in a host of pastel colors: Pale lavender, mint, lemon, before appearing in gun metal, champagne, black and white. Models all wore large matching hats made of folds of organza that sat like tinted clouds on their heads.


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