By  on February 12, 2008

As the London collections got under way, designers were playing with proportions, inflating here, shrinking there — all to "Alice in Wonderland" effect.

Biba: Biba's girls took a sophisticated turn this season, the second under the aegis of artistic director Hector Castro, with polished silhouettes, subtle details and some great tailored coats. Gone were the obvious references to the label's heyday, and in their place were small nods here and there — a ruffle tumbling down the front of a simple tunic, an Egyptian-eye motif winking its way across a short skirt, a playful snowflake pattern on a shrunken wool twinset. There were also enough coats to keep devotees warm during their chilly romps through the damp London streets: They came in egg and trapeze shapes, some with padded shoulders that pointed straight up. The collection seems to be moving forward with confidence. Let's hope it continues.

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