London Fashion Week: Spring and summer collections on show

Models at the Paul Costelloe catwalk show at the London Fashion Week
Image caption Clothes by Paul Costelloe were among the first to go on show on the catwalk at London Fashion Week

Nearly 70 catwalk shows are scheduled over the next six days as London Fashion Week begins.

More than 5,000 visitors are expected to attend the event, which will showcase the spring and summer collections of many British designers.

London-based designs such as Erdem and Paul Costelloe are among those on show, with Jasper Conran, Pringle of Scotland and Burberry also represented.

The event is held twice a year and was launched in 1983.

It is estimated to generate about £100m of orders and boost London's economy by about £21m, the British Fashion Council said.

Jane Bruton, editor-in-chief of Grazia magazine, said she was looking forward to new collections by Jonathan Saunders and Mary Katrantzou.

They were "currently our most talked-about designers not only here, but internationally too", she said.

'Serious high gloss'

"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," she said.

She said that the return of designer Tom Ford, after a spell directing the film A Single Man, was giving the event some "serious high gloss".

There will also be a show by Issa, whose outfits were selected by the Duchess of Cambridge for the announcement of her engagement to Prince William, for the eve of her wedding and also worn during the couple's visit to Canada.

Image caption Nearly 70 shows have been planned for the six days of the fashion week, which is held twice a year

London Mayor Boris Johnson joked that he was wearing "a very fashionable polyester tie made in England" as he attended the start of the week.

He also appealed to fashion businesses to "help young Londoners in this difficult time by taking them on".

By doing this, and by helping to fund the industry, he said it was possible not only to cut youth unemployment, but to be "unlocking untold riches of talent".

"We would be lengthening London's lead as the fashion capital of the world," Mr Johnson added.

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