- Associated Press - Monday, September 21, 2015

LONDON (AP) - London Fashion Week got into full swing Monday with a lineup of all the big names - Burberry’s glamorous runway show drew stars from Benedict Cumberbatch to Sienna Miller, while fashion favorites Erdem and Christopher Kane impresssed with their signature designs. Here are the highlights from Day 4:

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A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT AT ERDEM

The theater where Erdem staged his show was so dark that countless guests tripped as they arrived. But it soon became clear it was so dangerously dim for a reason.

The designer was trying to create an atmospheric Gothic landscape of swirling blue mist, relentless rain, thunder and howling winds - a perfect backdrop for his ethereal, darkly romantic dress collection. The show notes referenced Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World,” though there’s more than a hint of “Wuthering Heights” about it too.

Canada-born Erdem Moralioglu, who has built a big following with his unabashedly feminine designs, showed dozens of ruffled and tiered dresses in intricate lace, floral patterns and delicate sheer fabrics. Hemlines graced the calf and necklines were often prim and high, though ‘cold shoulder’ cut-outs showed some skin. The effect was a bit of a mix of the Victorian governess and ‘70s flower child.

The show finished with a series of beautifully crafted, almost couture-like gowns and structured evening dresses.

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LASHES OF LACE - WITH A RUCKSACK - AT BURBERRY

A Burberry show is always a no-expenses-spared, crowd-pleasing spectacle, but this season the luxury British brand has stepped things up a notch.

A 32-piece orchestra and singer Alison Moyet starred center stage in the middle of the Burberry tent, set up in Hyde Park. Models sashayed around the round orchestral pit, looked on by VIP guests including Benedict Cumberbatch, who attended with his wife Sophie Hunter, actresses Naomie Harris and Sienna Miller, and supermodel Kate Moss.

The clothes were all about contrasts - a mix of elegant with street cool. There were lots of opulent black and gold English lace, wispy sheer outfits and silk slip dresses, dressed down with unbuttoned fluid trenches, nylon rucksacks and sporty flat sandals - casual gear that could have been worn by any college student, if not for the giveaway gold chain and buckle details.

The brand’s best-known beige trench took a backseat to military-style outerwear - black and navy pea coats with bright gold piping and gold buttons, which design chief Christopher Bailey said were made by the same company that dresses royal guards.

If the show didn’t feel particularly summery, what with the mix of silks and heavy coats, it’s because Burberry wants to cater to as many international customers as possible.

“I like the idea that it’s not just about the season, it’s about an attitude . because half the world is boiling hot, half the world is freezing cold,” Bailey said.

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FRINGES AND NEON AT CHRISTOPHER KANE

On a grey and rainy afternoon, Christopher Kane whisked his guests up to the top floor of one of London’s tallest skyscrapers and offered up a refreshing dose of bright clashing neons, colorful spray-paint dresses and attention-grabbing fringes.

Kane, one of London Fashion Week’s edgiest designers, showed modern art-inspired dresses bursting with color - red, yellow, blue, pink - and outfits adorned with PVC plastic see-through panels.

The colors may be cheerful, but Kane said the collection was actually about “crash and repair” - creating a burst of energy after he and his sister and business partner, Tammy, lost their mother earlier this year.

Lace was prominent, like in many other London shows, but here it’s in blinding neon and clashes with plastic accents. An otherwise ordinary black trouser suit becomes instantly cool with a yellow snakeskin trim.

Much of it is not conventionally flattering and hard to pull off. Strange rainbow-hued discs - described as “blown up bacterial blobs” - are printed onto biker jackets, while colorful cable ties are used on almost all the models as spiky hair ties and bracelets.

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