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London kicks off fashion week with new venue – a car park

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Image: A model has her hair styled and her nails painted backstage before the presentation of the Bora Aksu Spring/Summer 2016 collection during London Fashion Week in London, Britain September 18, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

LONDON (Reuters) – London kicked off five days of catwalk shows and presentations on Friday, with a new car park venue adding an urban twist to the glitz and glamour of fashion week.

With New York shows wrapped, fashionistas descend on the British capital for the next leg of spring/summer 2016 collections.

This season, they head to the Brewer Street Car Park, a white and green art deco building, in central Soho – temporarily cleared of vehicles – to see designers’ latest offerings.

The fashionistas themselves stopped traffic in the area on Friday, with passersby scrambling to get a glimpse of them.

The British Fashion Council (BFC) says about 100 million pounds ($160 million) worth of orders are placed at London Fashion Week.

“We are excited to be in Soho because it’s thought of as the creative village of the West End,” BFC Chief Executive Caroline Rush said.

Among the first to present their creations was Turkish designer Bora Aksu, whose models wore delicate lace and chiffon dresses, teamed with sheer capes and tailored jackets.

Aksu said he drew inspiration from his childhood summers spent near Izmir. He used silk, tulle and organza on dresses in shades of pale pink, yellow and orange.

“The garden was full of orange trees, pomegranate trees, lemon trees so I wanted to bring all that freshness and colours into the collection,” Aksu said.

Earlier, veteran designer Zandra Rhodes held a presentation for a collaboration with Kraftangan Malaysia to promote Malaysian textiles. Models wore colourful visors, flowing kaftans and full skirts in shades of pink, cobalt and orange.

The global luxury goods market is expected to “sustain a steady momentum” with up to 4 percent growth – at constant currency levels – this year, according to consultancy Bain & Co.

London Fashion Week runs until Tuesday with Burberry, Vivienne Westwood, Red Label and Topshop among the brands showing their collections.

(1 US dollar = 0.6393 British pound)

(Reporting By Li-mei Hoang; Additional reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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