The London Elephant Parade

A herd of “baby elephants” hand-painted by artists and designers including Tommy Hilfiger and Matthew Williamson has set London’s Trafalgar Square ablaze with colour, according to Metro (UK).

A herd of 'baby elephants' hand-painted by artists and designers including Tommy Hilfiger and Matthew Williamson are setting London ablaze with colour. Photo: Reuters

A herd of “baby elephants” hand-painted by designers Tommy Hilfiger and Matthew Williamson has set London’s Trafalgar Square ablaze with colour. The life-sized artworks formed part of a collection of 260 model elephants taking over London this summer for the London Elephant Parade 2010.

Julien Macdonald, Alice Temperley, Diane von Furstenberg, Lulu Guinness, Marc Quinn and John Rocha are also among those who have taken part in the initiative, raising awareness of the plight of Asian elephants.

The life-sized artworks form part of a collection of 260 model elephants taking over the English capital this summer for the London Elephant Parade 2010. Photo: Reuters

Among the works marching on Trafalgar Square was Williamson’s elephant made up of a glittery rainbow of colours, and Hilfiger’s artwork painted bold red and sporting a mohican of foliage across its head.

An elephant by Paul Smith was fashionably attired in pastel shades and signed by the designer on its knee.

Julien Macdonald, Alice Temperley, Diane von Furstenberg, Lulu Guinness, Marc Quinn and John Rocha are also among those who have taken part in the initiative, raising awareness of the plight of Asian elephants. Photo: Reuters

The highly collectable artworks will pop up at a host of London landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Parliament Square and the South Bank over the next few months, before being auctioned off to raise £2 million for charity.

The money will help The Elephant Family charity and more than 15 UK conservation charities working in Asia.

Tourists walked among the elephants, flocking to hug and have their pictures taken with them. Photo: Reuters

Jewellery designer Sabine Roemer dressed her elephant with a 700-carat emerald on its forehead. She said it was “amazing” to see her completed work in Trafalgar Square. “We started talking about it a year ago,” said Sabine Roemer. “I wanted to have a very traditional Indian-looking elephant and to make a jewellery piece.”

This is the first parade of elephants in UK. Photo: Reuters

Elephant parades have already been held in Antwerp and Rotterdam, and after London it will move to New York and Milan.

It follows the format of Cow Parade, which began in Zurich in 1998 to increase tourism and raise money for charity. In 2002 decorated cows were displayed in London then sold for £350,000 for ChildLine. [via BBC, Metro (UK) and Daily Telegraph]

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