‘Kate effect’ designers to create a buzz

WITH a flash of colour and the click of a stiletto heel, London Fashion Week opens today with a showcase of work from Irish designer, Paul Costelloe.

After another seven months in which the sartorial choices of Kate, the duchess of Cambridge, have continued to grip fashion-watchers here and in Britain, styles and designers favoured by her are expected to create a buzz.

Among these is Montreal-born, London-based Erdem, in whose creations Kate stepped out on her summer visit to Canada.

Also showing this week is another Kate favourite, Issa. When Ms Middleton, as she was then, wore Issa to announce her engagement to the then Prince William, again on the night before her wedding and also during her Canada visit, the designer was given a boost many can only dream of.

And fashion experts anticipate the so-called “Kate effect” may popularise more ladylike styles across the board, such as those befitting a young, modern duchess.

The collections of British favourites Jonathan Saunders, Burberry and Christopher Kane are also eagerly awaited, and excitement surrounds the first on-schedule London appearance of American Tom Ford.

Style-watchers predict a flurry of print as well as the continuation of retro-inspired designs, with a fair amount of colour always a good bet for spring and summer collections.

Jane Bruton, editor-in-chief of Grazia magazine said: “Every season London Fashion Week raises the standard that it set six months before.

“Christopher Kane, Erdem and Roksanda Ilincic are already catering to high-profile clients such as the Duchess of Cambridge, Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron so there will be a huge buzz around their collections.”

With the celebrities in attendance as much of a draw as the collections, she tipped Burberry as the one to watch for its A list front row.

- Annmarie O’Connor will have the latest from London Fashion Week in tomorrow’s Irish Examiner.

Fashion schedule

- 68 catwalk shows and 37 presentations will take place over six days.

- The Exhibition at LFW, where over 150 designer brands are set to showcase their spring/summer 2012 collections, will also run from today to September 20.

- More than 5,000 visitors are expected to attend.

- The British fashion industry is estimated to support 1.3 million jobs.

- It is estimated that orders of more than £100 million (€113m) are placed during LFW each season.

- Fashion Forward, backed by the mayor of London, will support three designers on the catwalk this season: Meadham Kirchhoff, Peter Pilotto and Todd Lynn.

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