Stella McCartney hits London with energetic dinner dance
British designer Stella McCartney (Photo: AFP/Getty Images/File, Andrew H. Walker)
It began as a black-tie dinner attended by Kate Moss, Rihanna and photographer Mario Testino and became a dance show as models stepped between the tables wearing McCartney's eagerly awaited new collection of evening wear.
Jumping onto chairs and tables to the rocking sounds of Led Zeppelin, and swung through the air by tuxedoed partners, the models' playful behaviour reflected the joyful marbled prints and exaggerated skirts of the dresses they wore.
There were figure-hugging gowns and jumpsuits in black and white with contours cut out of the sides, contrasted with shocking orange and cobalt blue sleeveless dresses in delicate, embroidered lace.
McCartney presented the one-off collection as a celebration of London in the year the British capital hosts the Olympic Games, and as part of a marketing campaign that has also seen her launch a new perfume and a second London store.
She has also designed the official Team GB kit for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer, building on a long-running partnership with Adidas.
McCartney's main autumn/winter collection will show as usual in Paris next month, but the designer's return to the city where she trained nearly two decades ago has been viewed as a sign of London Fashion Week's growing status.
Her show in a former church in London's upmarket Mayfair district was one of the highlights of this week's shows, and drew a diverse celebrity crowd including Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue, and rapper Kanye West.
About 150 people were treated to dinner as the Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra played onstage, before Dutch illusionist Hans Klok stepped up with a string of tricks including balancing model Alexa Chung on three pointed metal blades.
The blades were gradually removed until Chung, announced this week as a style ambassador for the British Fashion Council, was suspended on just one, before being helped to her feet to rapturous applause.
London Fashion Week continues until Wednesday, with Alexander McQueen's McQ label making its debut in the capital on Monday.
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