British designer Jasper Conran brought a taste of 1970s Americana to London Fashion Week on Saturday, while some of his colleagues paid tribute to an unlikely style icon — Minnie Mouse.
On the second day of London Fashion Week, barefoot models trampled a grassy catwalk as they showed off Conran’s spring/summer 2013 collection against a psychedelic backdrop of neon flowers.
Conran, the son of pioneering homeware designer Terence Conran, presented a string of whimsical mini-dresses in lime-green and orange crochet and white lace.
Touches of patchwork, alongside denim shorts teamed with sleeveless vests for a cow-girl look, gave another nod to twee Americana.
The 52-year-old’s collection veered from the androgynous — in the form of a severe white trouser suit — to the voluptuously feminine, including a strapless dress in brilliant red.
A sequinned mini-dress harked back to the dawn of disco, while a majestic ball-gown added a touch of hippy chic.
At the more playful end of Saturday’s programme, a dozen designers including Giles Deacon and Lulu Guiness created one-off works inspired by Disney’s Minnie Mouse to be auctioned off for charity on eBay.
Richard Nicoll turned Minnie’s famous black ears into the shoulders of a strapless dress that featured a print of her with Mickey — her boyfriend since the two mice were created in 1928.
Hand-painted wedge heels by Terry de Havilland paid tribute to the red and white polka-dot print of her dress, as did a long, layered skirt by Dutch designer Michael van der Ham.
He teamed it with a top featuring a sequinned outline of Minnie’s head.
“I really like when little girls wear tourist t-shirts with the silhouette of Minnie’s face,” van der Ham explained.
“They’re normally printed so I wanted to refabricate that in a couture, hand-made piece,” he told AFP.
Sunday is one of the biggest days in the London Fashion Week programme, with highlights set to include a show from punk queen Vivienne Westwood.
The British fashion industry generates £21 billion ($34 billion, 26 million euros) every year and employs more than 80,000 people, according LFW’s organisers, the British Fashion Council.
Some 5,000 buyers, journalists and photographers are expected to attend the shows, which organisers hope will bring in orders worth £100 million ($160 million).