Fringe lifts fashion week

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The Independent Online
LONDON FASHION Week kicked off earlier than expected yesterday with the fringe element providing the initial glamour and pizzazz.

The colourful Bernstock Spiers collection was inspired by an imaginary holiday in the Copa Cabana.

"The whole thing is about being on holiday, about being free. I imagine people lounging about and hanging out in these clothes," Thelma Spiers said afterwards.

Indeed, the cotton smock dresses in paisley, the knee skirts with matching bikini tops, and the bold striped dresses certainly spelt holiday, while lightweight coats with matching wide leg pants were a chic variation on gentlemen's bed wear.

Bernstock Spiers would very much like to be part of the official London Fashion Week schedule. "Unless you're on the schedule it's hard to get the right people to your show," Paul Bernstock added.

Bernstock Spiers invited members of the audience to sing karaoke as their models stalked the catwalk.

London Fashion Week will hold 44 catwalk shows of the best of British fashion talent, in addition to which 142 exhibitors will be selling their spring and summer 1999 collections from tents outside the Natural History Museum.