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Emporio Armani lightens up the town at London Fashion Week

Italian labels Versus Versace and Emporio Armani brought the darkness and light to London Fashion Week on Sunday, burnishing the city's reputation as a fashion capital.

Industry icon Giorgio Armani had not displayed in London for 11 years, an eternity in the world of fashion, ending his hiatus to celebrate the label's renovated flagship London store in the upscale Mayfair neighbourhood.

The spring-summer 2018 show at Tobacco Dock, a former tobacco warehouse, was marked by light and playful creations including a lightweight windbreaker with printed crab design, small, round-collared dresses, pastel-coloured ensembles and flowing pants.

The label described the "frEAdom" collection as embodying "freedom as lightness of being and eclecticism of appearance". The Italian fashion giant, more accustomed to the Milan catwalks, has around 3,000 points of sale worldwide, which the group is trying to consolidate.

Armani, 83, said he had chosen London "for its "dynamism, energy and cosmopolitanism". Fellow fashion giant Tommy Hilfiger was to arrive in Britain on Tuesday in another coup for Fashion Week, which has always boasted audacious young designers but sometimes lacked big-name appeal.

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Their presence is "proof that our city is an international crossroads of creativity and culture", said Caroline Rush, director of the British Fashion Council.

It is also a positive sign for the British economy, which is on uncertain foundations ahead of its departure from the European Union. (AFP)

Emporio Armani lightens up the town at London Fashion Week The international Fashion Week season for women's ready-to-wear kicks off in the month of September, with all eyes set on New York, Paris, London and Milan for next seasons latest trends. For all the women's wear catwalk season must reads, click here.