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London Fashion Week: Bugs at Burberry and other key highlights

Wearability at Burberry Prorsum, plus other highlights from day four including Peter Pilotto, Giles and more.

Christopher Bailey was inspired by a balmy British summer at Burberry Prorsum, with a colourful and wearable collection titled the “birds and the bees”, complete with insect patterns and curling script lifted from vintage book covers. Not the season-defining offering we’ve come to expect from Bailey, indigo denim jackets were a safe but standout message, tailored into nipped waists and trimmed with colourful patent panels in bright primary shades, sometimes lined with shaggy shearling, edged with feathers or luxed up in suede variations. These came layered over various light and breezy summer dresses in gathered, ruched and tiered pretty sheer tulle, while the brightly patterned signature trenches that closed the show will be the message most transferred to the high street.

Embellished tiger claws, embroidered slithering snakes and printed birds of prey were the key motifs at Giles, covering voluminous skirted floor-skimming ball gowns and laser cut leather dresses etched with rainforest fronds and appliqued with three dimensional leather florals. Countering the elegant eveningwear, a pink and cream stripe covered a tailored suit and cape, while a loose playsuit, cheerful oversized sweater and silky pyjama set continued the more casual slant.

Peter Pilotto and fellow designer Christopher de Vos “explored a transcendent wash of light and colour” in their latest collection according to the show notes. New treatments, which moved on from the brand’s signature print focus came through, such as simple jacquard jackets, Perspex embellishments on structured denim pieces and feather weight silk leaves which clung to organza dresses. As well as being as typically bold and colourful, the attention to detail ensured the collection was a dressing up box of delights in simple and wearable shapes, many aspects of which will no doubt influence the high street come spring.

Spring delights came through at Michael van der Ham with an arty range of predominantly dresses, although a few separates popped in via tweedy trousers, boxy floral tops and floaty shorts. From delicate brocade shifts to elegant tea dresses with sheer sleeves and full-on multi-layered gowns with oversized straps falling off the shoulder, each style was detailed and feminine, with buckets of commercial appeal.

Creative director Blue Farrier continued her evolution of Issa, with clean, simple and slightly sporty designs that both young and old would covet, focusing on crisp black and white monochrome combos shot with peach, bright pink and orange. The key twist this season was heat pressed bonded squiggle seams that ran across dresses or edged sheer or pleated panels on simple boxy tops, adding a modern and fun detail. A prancing horse pattern ran over shift-like dresses, while a punchy pink wrapped v neck jumpsuit literally caught the eye.

Winner of the inaugural LMVH Young Fashion Designer Prize, Thomas Tait sent out a directional offering of challenging silhouettes and conceptual designs. Many pieces came with single sleeves, such as a puffed up leather dress with pleated waist panel and oversized curving arm, while checkerboard skirts and dresses featured fluttering fabric that barely hung to the body, sometimes featuring skin-flashing cut out panels.

A slightly hit and miss collection from Antonio Berardi offered some covetable pieces in a palette of navy, green and orange shades, though interspersed with a few less tempting designs. Dresses were a strong point; from crisp, form-fitting cuts to more youthful, floaty options in pale pinks which fell to the ground or above the knee. Bolder tangerine shades across jazzy top and skirt combinations (complete with jewelled embellishments) and bomber jackets paired with voluminous skirts, worked well, although overly-fussy cropped jackets and tight satin trousers seemed less modern, and some red and black combinations jarred with the rest of the range.

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