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London catwalks: Christopher Bailey on Burberry and more from day four

Burberry’s Christopher Bailey on his artful Henry Moore-inspired collection, plus other hightlights from the fourth day of London Fashion Week.

Moore is more at Burberry

Burberry new

Burberry designer Christopher Bailey looked to famed British artist, and fellow Yorkshire man, Henry Moore for his latest Burberry collection - his second men’s and women’s “see now, buy now” range of seasonless clothes.

In one of his most conceptual and directional collections for the house, Bailey focused on Moore’s sculptural work, reflecting his free flowing, oversized and curvaceous takes on the shape and form of the human body via abstracted versions of wardrobe classics and Burberry signatures. He was also inspired by the artist’s working processes, his love of found objects, and even his own wardrobe – see the sturdy artist’s overalls and smocks, the worn and washed denim and Moore’s favoured uniform of a striped butcher’s apron which infiltrated the range.

Burberry autumn 17 (2)

Burberry autumn 17 (2)

“In the way that Henry Moore did, I wanted to play with things,” Bailey said backstage after the show. “Moore’s work is about changing the form and putting it in different directions. The shoulder was suddenly up here and the breast was suddenly over here – I quite liked the idea of putting something on and turning it into a completely different way.” This resulted in an array of “deconstructed and put back together pieces”, asymmetrically sculpted around the body and patchworked together.

While some designs erred from intriguingly abstract to puzzlingly odd, others stood out for their artfulness. These included dresses beautifully abstracted and curving around the body - some with cuts outs that reflect the hollowed bodies of Moore’s most famous works - cosy jumpers reconstructed from different panels of cabled knitwear into chunky armour-like shapes, and the classic Burberry trench coats that became sturdy yet fluid in double wool, their lapels droopy and free flowing, collars curved into sculptural shapes, some with asymmetric hems and dramatic backs.

Burberry autumn 17 (3)

Burberry autumn 17 (3)

Unlike recent seasons, Bailey chose a simple and strict palette of white and black, with washes of light blue and touches of soft cream. Delicate lace and doily trims added a feminine softness to both men’s and womenswear, layered into dresses or trimming the yokes of shirts, inspired by the plaster cast maquettes Moore used to make of his work. A handful of sweatshirts and printed shirts lifted work directly from Moore’s own sketches and paintings.

Burberry autumn 17 (1)

Burberry autumn 17 (1)

The artist’s love of found objects also made its way into the offering, via the rope that decorated jumpers or coiled into decorative capes. While the collection was available to buy immediately in Burberry stores and via a network of stockists, the finale featured an array of couture capes Bailey created as special made-to-order pieces. Inspired by Moore’s study of the shoulder, he mafe capes from found objects like chandelier crystals and silver spoons and turned them into wearable Burberry sculptures.

Turning up the contrasts at Joseph


Creative director Louise Trotter turned up the contrasts for autumn 17 at Joseph. There was a play off between the masculine and the feminine, where mannish boxy suiting, chunky tailored coats and roomy overalls were contrasted with flowy flyaway feminine dresses, flouncy voluminous skirts and blooming tapestry florals.

Glossy plastics, technical fabrics and kinky leathers sat next to antique furniture fabrics, soft laces, sporty jersey and wild, shaggy wools.

Silhouettes were pared back and simple, while shapes were pumped up and oversized, like wide-legged trousers, trailing extra-long sleeves, sharp and pointed elongated collars and enlarged cuffs on shirts.

Antonio Berardi’s feminine urban aesthetic


Berardi paired the feminine and urban in his autumn 17 collection, taking military and utilitarian styling and giving them a womanly twist. The show opened with looks which took coarse, parachute-like heavy duty fabrics in dark shades of navy and gave them a heightened sense of femininity. Voluminous ruffled skirts, cropped jackets and exaggerated peplums created a sharply hourglass silhouette. Later in the collection masculine tailoring was reworked to enhance this hourglass shaping, again focusing on structural peplums and high waist trousers giving a crisp, powerful womanliness.

The colours and textures were striking and elegant, with jewel-toned metallic brocade coats and pale cream suiting giving a sophistication to the designs. Hints of sports luxe appeared in the racer stripe body suits and side stripe trousers, but the effect was overall one of grown-up elegance, with a playful undertone coming from crystal embellishments and clever sculptural cuts. Classic ball gowns and evening dresses made appearances too, and when set with the rest of the collection hinted at a wardrobe put together as a modern and grown-up take on princess dressing: elegant, feminine and just a little bit daring.

Ashish’s protest in sequins


In times of political and economic upheaval, fashion is often one of the first creative industries to react, and the autumn 17 womenswear catwalks have morphed into a political soapbox this season. Whereas some, for example Gareth Pugh, have taken a dark approach, fuelling rage, anger and fear in their collections, Ashish delivered something entirely different but equally poignant and powerful. A glittering yellow brick road snaked its way down the runway, and the collection it housed was impossibly exuberant. It was a kind of antidote dressing, all guns blazing with joy, defiance and a brash no-holds-barred celebration of individuality and diversity in all forms, a million miles from the uncertainty and fear gripping the world – these clothes were a reminder of the beauty of optimism.

Last season Ashish took aim at the Brexit vote, with a celebration of his pride as an immigrant. This season, unsurprisingly, Donald Trump was in the firing line. Speaking after the show, designer Ashish Gupta said every single detail was considered. From the obvious slogans such as “Nasty Woman”, “More glitter, less Twitter” and “Planned Parenthood” splashed across designs, to the rainbow motifs and even the models’ make up, designed to replicate Mexican wrestling masks, each design was glittering and defiant and brimming with Trump rebukes. ”We need to be united and spread the message of love and unity against all the stuff that’s going on,” he said.

Every single one of the 35 looks shown were made entirely from sequins. From Varsity-style jackets to T-shirts and gowns, all were crafted and detailed with slick, shimmering surfaces. Not only did this give the collection a jubilescent glee, as the weighty items bounced and dazzled in every inch, but they also showed off an impeccable craftsmanship. Fair Isle patterning, popular elsewhere on knits this season, appeared in sequins, delicate and defined, while slogans and patterns were crisp and elegant with silhouettes barely impacted by the heaviness of the sequins. Boxing shorts and dresses appearing fluid and refined in their outlines, with an unexpected lightness.

Garnering one of the most heartfelt rounds of applause so far this season, Ashish hit gold with this collection, both creatively and culturally, with designs that were deeply poignant, moving and beautiful.

A furry evolution for Shrimps with new Ganni collaboration


Shrimps launched an exclusive footwear collaboration with Scandinavian womenswear label Ganni at its autumn presentation, making for a collaboration between two of the hottest young brands on the fashion circuit. The frilled sneakers and backless loafers of this collaboration were paired with a strong collection from designer Hannah Weiland, which saw a further evolution of her classic fake fur signatures. The furs this season appeared on elegant beaded purses as well as collars and classic coat shapes. A bright yellow leopard print, and emerald green pea coat, with embellished pearl cuffs stood out. Scottish prints and royalty inspired much of the collection, with the pearls a reference to Mary Queen of Scots, and various tartans diffused through the collection, both in bold grey and red and in softer heritage checks.

Outlines were typically feminine, with swing coats, midi skirts and pinafore dresses. Materials however were daring, with vinyl featuring in coats and dresses, and one peachy-toned coat featured hand drawn nudes, a reference to the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois. A slouchy tailored suit and checked top and trouser sets were more masculine, but with rounded collars, cropped waist jackets and wide leg trousers, they were still overtly feminine. As ever the ‘grandma-chic’ vibe was strong - accentuated this season by the heavy use of pearls. This was however a collection which will have the quirky cool Shrimps customers eagerly awaiting the autumn season.

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