British fashion giant Burberry Prorsum put the sparkle into London Fashion Week Monday, before Scottish designer Christopher Kane took his star-studded audience on a journey into the bizarre.
Burberry chief executive Christopher Bailey said the collection, which will be drip fed into stores from June, was inspired by a “patchwork” of influences.
Recurring themes included cashmere overcoats with military style epaulettes and brass buttons, brushed mohair checked coats and dazzling mini-dresses with hand-stitched sequins in floral patterns and psychedelic swirls.
“The collection is all the things that I love, a patchwork of all different things from the Mitford sisters to the military and a little bit of glam-rock,” Bailey told reporters back stage after the show, referring to six sisters who fascinated and scandalised British society of the 1930s.
Shares in the luxury label have fallen by 30 percent from their peak, hit by falling demand in China.
Bailey said he hoped the latest collection, which is designed for wear all year-round, will tap into other emerging international markets.
“This is a collection of clothes that will be delivered in stores in very hot climates and very cold climates,” he said. “You’ve got big, heavy cashmere coats and you’ve also got very light dresses.”
The collection is already available on pre-order and the one shown at the next London Fashion Week in September can be bought immediately following the show and will combine menswear and womenswear.
“It feels like the fashion industry is supposed to embrace change and this format shows you can evolve and change,” Bailey said.
– Indie inspiration –
Among other items on show before an audience which included Naomi Campbell and X-Men actor Nicholas Hoult were pleated skirts, green glossy python coats, fur-trimmed leather jackets and iridescent lamé dresses.
The show was soundtracked by a live performance from British singer/songwriter Jake Bugg, and the indie look inspired the menswear section as the label prepares to merge its collections.
Bailey delivered tracksuit tops with exaggerated full-zipper collars, and combined tracksuit trousers with blazers and skinny ties.
While Burberry trumpeted innovation from the boardroom, Scottish designer Christopher Kane delivered innovation on the catwalk during his show at the cavernous Turbine Hall in London’s Tate Modern Museum.
Samantha Cameron, wife of prime minister David Cameron, had a front-row seat as Kane, renowned for his use of unusual materials, produced a collection based on the “notion of lost and found”.
Items included camel-coloured coats made from corrugated cardboard, rain bonnets resembling discarded plastic carrier bags, decaying woolly jumpers barely held together with metal pins and dresses that trailed into individual, fraying strips.
Earthy tones, deep reds and greys dominated the palette, harshly interrupted by one shocking orange creation.
“The unconventional, transformative journey of the Christopher Kane girl continues… in a collection that celebrates the lost and found,” Kane wrote in his introduction to the collection.
“The discarded detritus of glamour is accumulated and elevated to new heights,” added the designer, who won Britain’s “dress of the year” in 2013.
London Fashion Week is due to wrap up on Tuesday.