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By
AFP
Published
Sep 21, 2009
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Knits grab limelight at London Fashion Week

By
AFP
Published
Sep 21, 2009

LONDON, Sept 19, 2009 (AFP) - A riot of colours, fabrics, prints and styles swept down the catwalk at London Fashion Week on Saturday 19 September, from Mark Fast's so-called body conscious knits to feminine dresses with a darker edge from Kinder Aggugini.


A model displays creations by Kinder Aggugini for the Spring/Summer 2010 collection - Photo: AFP/Ben Stansall

Fast opened the second day of this 25th anniversary event alongside Greece-born Mary Katrantzou in a showcase of some of the best of the new London talent.

His intricate and ingenious knits, this season in grey, beige, pink and black, have made Fast a favourite here -- even if one fashion editor remarked that there was a little too much flesh on display for so early in the morning.

Excitement is building ahead of eagerly anticipated shows from returning heroes Matthew Williamson and Antonio Berardi, Burberry and Pringle, after a brilliant mix of established and new talent kicked started the event on Friday 18 September.

A reception at Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Downing Street residence, where his wife Sarah hosted in a dress by Erdem, rounded off the first day after shows from Paul Costelloe, Caroline Charles, Emilio de la Morena and Eun Jeong.

And the glamour continued on Saturday 19 September with Hong Kong-born designer John Rocha's latest collection, which is inspired by paintings by Irish-American abstract artist Sean Scully and Celtic jewellery.

Using treated hand-knitted crochet and glazed silk georgette in a palette of tobacco, almond, egg blue, rose and pink, Rocha created sculpted silhouettes that contrasted with softer fabrics draped around the body.

His clothes are always well received, something he shares with one of the hottest tickets of the week, Kinder Aggugini.

The Italian worked as a ghost designer for almost 20 years with Versace, John Galliano and Calvin Klein and although this is only his second show here, he has already built up a devoted following.

Aggugini's spring/summer 2010 collection married feminine softness and light with a harder, darker edge, taking his inspiration from the darker elements of fairytales and the subsequent loss of innocence that they bring.

"It's that moment, when, as a child, you realise that the stories you were told begin to reveal a different meaning. You begin to understand there is a dark underlying strand and the naivety goes," he said of the collection.

He took children's pretty dresses, opened them up at the seams and added darker, more textured fabrics before reconfiguring the outfits on a taller model -- with spectacular results.

The couture quality of his clothes is a little unfair on any designers who follow him, but although rising star Danielle Scutt's punky, sexy collection could not match the technique, it was typically confident.

She laid sharply different prints next to each other on body-con dresses and added structure to skin-tight yellow and black numbers with leather-edged black lace draped around the body to create highly-covetable statement pieces.

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