Transatlantic Fashion Fight

The ladies who lunch and the designers who make sure they do so in style are gathered in Britain for London Fashion Week.

Eschewing what's being called the "sleek commerciality" of last week's show in New York, London launched with a tip of the hat to tradition.

The kickoff on the catwalk was strewn with tweeds, wools and Victorian antique fabrics, an ode to traditional British fabrics with a touch of patriotism.

British designer Matthew Williamson revealed his latest collection in what he called his Alice in Wonderland-inspired show.

The models have become a show unto themselves and some say weapons in the competition between London and New York.

Celebrity Models on Parade

A star-studded audience turned out to watch models Sophie Dahl, Jodie Kidd, Amber Valetta and Elizabeth Jagger.

Jagger, the daughter of Rolling Stone's Mick and model-turned actress Jerry Hall, is the second Rolling Stone offspring to hit the runway in London this week.

Leah Wood, daughter of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, is modeling for designer Ronit Zilkha.

One of the British papers joked, "It's only frock and roll, but I like it."

Bringing out celebrity models appears to be a game of one-up-man-ship after New York, paraded Kimberley Stewart, the daughter of singer Rod Stewart, on the catwalk last week.

All this patriotism and competition seems to be part of a battle brewing between the London and New York fashion scene.

Last week the New York Times stated that, apart from designers McQueen and Hussein Chalayan, British designers, " … are about as inconsequential as a baby's burp."

Not since American G.I.'s supplied local women with nylon stockings in World War II has Britain been more mortified.

The London Times, in its understated style, combated the insult referring to the impressive turnout for London Fashion Week.

"2,000 international buyers and 750 journalists see things slightly differently."

Upping the ante Britain has brought in The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles to meet British designers and present the Designer of the Year Award.

You can almost hear someone saying, "Match that New York."