London Fashion Week kicks off, hot on heels of New York

LONDON (AP) — It’s time to kick off those snow boots and pack the brolly.

After battling sub-zero temperatures at New York Fashion Week, fashionistas are decamping to London for another whirlwind week of catwalk shows, champagne and parties. The London event, which opens Friday, features new designs from almost 80 designers, including from powerhouses like Burberry and Topshop Unique and young names Christopher Kane and Erdem.

Here are some of the highlights from Day 1:

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FURRY, FURRY HIGH HEELS AT SHRIMPS

Opulent real animal fur coats may be a no-no, but faux fur is definitely enjoying a fashion moment — and the bigger, shaggier and quirkier, the better.

Bright, cartoonist faux fur coats in rainbow colors were everywhere this season on London’s streets, and at Somerset House, London Fashion Week’s headquarters, dozens of men and women were seen huddled together in head-turning furry gear.

Shrimps, a young brand specialising in “British humor” and everything faux fur, has been riding the trend with great success. For the coming winter the label has come up with more attention-grabbing shaggy coats, stoles and evening bags — all inspired by Star Trek and the Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City, with a good dash of ’70s style thrown in.

The result is a fun collection dominated by clashing forest greens and warm terracotta tones, adorned with embroidered cartoon characters, glitter and crystals. It’s all less Great Gatsby, more Saturday night on the town.

But it’s the elf-like pointy heels, trimmed in teal or mustard fur that really stole the show. Look no further for next season’s statement shoe.

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FERGIE AT NAOMI’S BASH

What’s fashion week without a supermodel?

Naomi Campbell kicked off proceedings in style late Thursday with her Fashion for Relief show, a charity event that aimed to raise money for efforts to combat Ebola.

Campbell and her friends sashayed down the runway wearing pieces donated from designers, including Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney, and items were put up for auction.

Fellow model Jourdan Dunn was among those sharing the stage, as well as a more unexpected guest: Sarah Ferguson. The former wife of Prince Andrew, who donned a sleeveless floor-length black evening gown, grinned like she couldn’t quite believe she was model for a night.

London Fashion Week kicks off, hot on heels of New York