Tom Ford, Rihanna lead London Fashion Week lineup

SYLVIA HUI
The Association Press
Modified: February 19, 2013 at 2:09 pm •  Published: February 19, 2013
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photo - FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 file photo Barbadian singer Rihanna performs during the fifth stop of her 777 worldwide tour at the E-Werk club in Berlin. A debut design showcase by singer Rihanna and Tom Ford's first proper catwalk show in London Fashion Week are headlining the five-day style extravaganza that begins Friday Feb. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 19, 2012 file photo Barbadian singer Rihanna performs during the fifth stop of her 777 worldwide tour at the E-Werk club in Berlin. A debut design showcase by singer Rihanna and Tom Ford's first proper catwalk show in London Fashion Week are headlining the five-day style extravaganza that begins Friday Feb. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, File)

Other notable designers showing at this season's 5-day event include L'Wren Scott, the American partner of Mick Jagger; Julien Macdonald, a celebrity favorite, who is returning after a two-season break; and Jonathan Saunders, who has wowed with his classy prints and patterns.

In all, almost 60 runway previews for autumn 2013 will run from Friday to Tuesday.

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BORA AKSU

Severe-looking leather corsets, exaggerated shoulders, shades of muddy greens and gunmetal: Aksu's latest womenswear collection may feature lots of tough design elements, but his signature romantic style still shone through on the catwalk Friday.

The London-based designer opened his show with a series of ivory crocheted dresses worn with high, buttoned-up shirt collars, and followed with all-leather ensembles of capes, bomber and cropped jackets and pencil skirts.

Later, models wore sweet baby-doll dresses in clouds of light pleated chiffon, but the best pieces layered the contrasting textures in one outfit: a suede corset worn over an ethereal navy blouse, or a gunmetal leather dress under a billowing, sheer purple cape.

All the models wore delicate, metallic headpieces that framed the face, an accessory that managed to look modern and nodded at flapper style at the same time.

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CENTRAL ST MARTINS GRADUATE SHOW

Jersey dresses with strange bulging shapes, head-to-toe blue outfits with stiff pleated wool, and baggy skirts and tulle capes for men are just some of the more outlandish creations showcased at Central St. Martins' fashion graduate show on Friday.

But viewers don't go to this showcase looking for wearable pieces — they go looking for tomorrow's star designer. The event was most famously the place where the late Alexander McQueen became recognized as a major talent, back in 1992 when he presented his graduate collection.

Standout pieces during Friday's show included black dresses adorned with rope knots and super shiny PVC ensembles by Eilish Macintosh, who won the L'Oreal Professionnel Creative Award of the year.