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Painterly color-blocks at Illincic's London show

Associated Press Modified: September 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm •  Published: September 18, 2012

LONDON (AP) — Taking inspiration from painters, model-turned-designer Roksanda Illincic has created a new spring collection of chic color-block dresses and relaxed feminine shapes.

Illincic's catwalk show Tuesday had plenty of ensembles for the woman who wants to look stylish without trying too hard. Simple, streamlined shapes like tailored shifts and breezy A-line dresses came in high-impact color combinations that really popped: Tangerine with cobalt, mango, dirty pink or white.

Sometimes all the colors came together on one dress like a modern abstract painting.

Models cradled oversized satin clutch bags and wore patent courts with multi-colored block heels.

The show, staged in the Savoy Hotel's glamorous ballroom, ended with a series of ensembles made in a glossy, laminated organza that added a sporty edge to the elegant designs.

Illincic, who counts U.S. first lady Michelle Obama and Britain's Kate Middleton among fans of her sleek style, said her designs were inspired by artists Niki de Saint Phalle and Joself Albers.

Her show had many of her popular signature elements: Beautiful colors, high-waisted silhouettes, feminine bell sleeves and modest mid-calf or ankle-grazing hemlines.

But this season the designer said she wanted to shake up the elegance with casual wear — like taking an evening dress shape and making it out of T-shirt or jersey materials.

"It gives an element of fun, something unexpected," she said.