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London Fashion Week wraps up after flurry of shows

February 18, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Models packed up and show spaces were dismantled as London Fashion Week wrapped up Tuesday, after five days that saw a flurry of catwalk action, celebrity sightings, and typically fickle British weather that left fashionistas drenched one moment and reaching for their sunglasses the next.

The fashion pack are heading for more new season displays in Milan after a series of frenetic catwalk shows led by Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Topshop, Tom Ford and Vivienne Westwood, among others.

London’s style offerings are known to be more eclectic than other fashion capitals, but the week did see some unifying trends. Monochrome outfits, high-shine plastic-look and metallic fabrics, and embellishments like beading and sequins were popular. 1960s and 70s shapes and colors — think burnt orange, mustard, olive and brown — featured in a number of shows.

There was an abundance of warm cozy outerwear, perfect for the extreme winter weather seen in the U.S. and Europe: Fur and big thick jackets were seen everywhere, from the trapper hats at Preen to the super-fluffy color block fur coats at Tom Ford.

The week got off to a shaky start amid wild winds and rain, which wreaked more havoc than ruining a few coiffed hairstyles.

A cohort of models and fashion editors flying in from New York Fashion Week — including U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour — were stranded in the northern city of Newcastle Friday, after gale-force winds caused their plane to divert. The idea of fashion’s elite stuck in a style backwater prompted more chuckles than sympathy, and jokes about the incident kept many attendees entertained throughout the week.

Hollywood stars and musicians put in front-row appearances and provided more talking points. Actor Bradley Cooper sparked much excitement when he turned up at Burberry to watch his girlfriend Suki Waterhouse model. Other famous faces attending as VIPs included actress Naomie Harris and singers Harry Styles and Tinie Tempah.

Other shows may have lacked the star power, but entertained in eccentric ways: Shoe designer Sophia Webster put her models in a faux bubble bath for a kitsch-inspired display, while Orla Kiely had models twirl clear umbrellas in make-believe rain. Preen featured Star Wars, while Hunter, the rubber-rain-boot maker, launched its first fashion collection on a water catwalk and sent guests home with a magician’s performance.

Fashionistas won’t get much of a break: Milan Fashion Week is due to begin Thursday, followed by Paris a week later.

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