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LONDON (AFP) – Neon colours and geometric forms at Roksanda Ilincic and pastel-coloured lace and cashmere at Burberry Prorsum offered contrasting interpretations of femininity at London Fashion Week on Monday.
Luxury brand Burberry is one of the biggest names here and did not disappoint with a dreamy collection of skirts, blouses, cardigans and coats in pastel colours and made with soft Scottish cashmere and English lace.
Actress Sienna Miller was in the front row to see elegant jerseys with a minimum of detail, either a small fold at the nape or a bow above a bare back, matched with intricate lace and cut-out white leather pencil skirts.
A jolt of colour was provided by a red and white polka dot blouse tucked into a black and cream striped skirt, while belts embedded with crystals or gold-studded flowers gave romantic outfits a sharp edge.
"We wanted the collection to have this real crafted feeling, something that felt like you were cocooned and protected," chief creative officer Christopher Bailey said backstage, after emerging from a media scrum sparked by the presence of One Direction's Harry Styles.
"Very, very feminine, very gentle, very soft, but there was also that sassiness and the sexiness underneath. I like that idea of strength and fragility."
There was no hiding the sassiness at Roksanda Ilincic, who played with dayglo colours for her spring/summer collection, blocking yellow with orange, beige and black for a striking look.
The Serbian-born designer, whose fans include Prince William's wife Kate and Michelle Obama, used neoprene to create oversized tops, matched with calf-skimming skirts, loose trousers, or a combination of both.
Other less daunting looks included a printed sleeveless top with a yellow pleated skirt, or simple shifts rendered extraordinary by vertical stripes of colour.
"I tried to experiment a little bit more with what is a modern dress -- how that dress can be elevated to something different," Ilincic told reporters after the show, which was attended by Prime Minister David Cameron's wife Samantha.
"So that is why there were many dresses worn with trousers, or deconstructive panels or pleats that, when you walk they're showing flashing colour... there was lots of playfulness inside."