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London fashion: Conran goes green, Goddard loves contrasts

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Posted at 11:38 AM, Feb 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-18 15:01:56-05

The British capital's fashion extravaganza has kicked up a notch with shows by Jasper Conran and other designers.

London Fashion Week is on its second day, with Saturday's womenswear previews for fall and winter including the latest designs by Gareth Pugh, Emilia Wickstead, Simone Rocha and Italian designer Donatella Versace's Versus line.

GREEN IS THE WORD FOR JASPER CONRAN

Conran's look this year was built around what he called "everyday pieces" — vests, skirts, leather dresses — simply cut in evocative colors like purple, mustard, magenta and apple.

The show Saturday at London's Claridge's hotel featured mohair wool tailored in olive, brown and maroon, with outfits set off by tight drainpipe trousers and flat, pointed shoes. There were also oversize parkas, slouchy bags and bondage-style halter tops.

Green was a dominant color, with some entirely monochromatic outfits, bags and shoes.

Conran couldn't resist a few leather biker jackets, paired with the slimmest of trousers. His pea coats came in creamy Melton wool.

At times he was looking for simplicity: a scarlet angora V-neck dress draped beautifully and a khaki cotton shirt dress evoked faraway places.

More complicated looks included a chocolate-fringed sequin dress and a chocolate leather wool grain V-neck dress with applique. He showed no fear, easily blending a red sequin vest with wooly, chocolate-colored trousers.

ENJOYING LIFE WITH MOLLY GODDARD

Newly minted design school graduate Molly Goddard drew a youthful crowd to a subterranean show space at the Tate Modern.

Goddard, a recent graduate from London's prestigious Central St. Martins design school, is known for her frilly, girlish tulle dresses and her use of traditional craft techniques like pleating and crocheting.

Her show on Saturday was filled with imagination. One multi-layered bright blue dress seemed to cascade like a waterfall, while a bright blue tutu-shaped skirt clashed dramatically with a striped top. A poufy white dress was set off by metallic silver space boots, and a green metallic dress was bisected by a bright red sash.

The collection played on themes of nostalgia, of dressing for special grown-up events when you're a child, and how teenagers dress for parties.

Goddard set up the space with a dining room in the center of the auditorium so models could enjoy glasses of red wine after the catwalk, and bottles of sweet vermouth were made available for guests. The goal was to have an interactive show, where both the audience and the models have something to do.

"It was just about having a lot of fun," Goddard said afterward. "I just kind of explored my absolute favorite things."