Burberry unveils its debut “straight to consumer” collection and other highlights from the penultimate day of LFW.
Burberry unveiled a triumphant new collection on the fourth day of London Fashion Week, debuting its first see-now, shop-now “straight to consumer” range.
The new industry-shifting presentation, which featured its menswear and womenswear ranges together for the first time, was also designed as a seasonless offering and renamed simply “September.” Most revolutionary of all its industry rule rewriting, 83 of its men’s and women’s looks comprising over 250 pieces were available to buy in over 100 countries immediately after the show, via its own stores, online, and wholesale accounts. The collection literally walked from the catwalk and straight into stores, aiming to capitalise on the hype surrounding the catwalk unveiling.
Chief creative officer Christopher Bailey described the new collection as “a love letter to the past and to English history, and a kind of dressing up box to visit and revisit”. Inspiration was taken from Virginia Woolf’s forward thinking 1928 novel ‘Orlando’, which revolves around a gender-fluid protagonist who transforms from a man into a woman over his century long, time-hopping life, as well as the colours and creations of interior designer Nancy Lancaster.
Classic Burberry came in a range of covetable military-tinged outerwear, from boxy oversized shearling aviators, deconstructed signature trenches (oversized or cropped), pea coats and crombies, through to grand cavalry jackets and tail coats densely decorated with detailed frogging and ornamental regalia that had an almost Elizabethan air to them.
Fresh styles included off an shoulder engineered knit that looked like old world corsets for women, braided chunky menswear knitwear that was reminiscent of a suit of armour, and everyday sweatshirts with sleeves that ballooned from studded elbows in another Elizabethan nod.
Little Lord Fauntleroy shirting will be a hero piece of the collection, with their frilled collars and ruffled cuffs blurring the girly/boyish boundary on both male and female models – and sure to appear on the highstreet. Languid piped pyjama shirts, trousers and dressing gowns dressed these down and gave the collection a relaxed, louche air of aristocratic bohemia.
Romantic florals bloomed for both men and women in a range of prints and patterned jacquards. There were loose, slouchy trousers and velvet blazers in pastels on men, while lacey slips came layered over shorts, trousers and dresses for women.
The collection deftly included bomber jackets, simple sweaters, cardigan capes and denim jackets for day (targeting the younger, casual shoppers), alongside great structured regimental coats, smart tailoring and beautiful gowns for night.
This “dressing up box” of broad historical references that jumped between decades and veered from smart to casual, aiming to be something for every shopper no matter what climate they live in, or indeed what gender they are, could have turned into a mismatch of costume clothing. But instead it formed a cohesive, confident and very current collection. The catwalk may have been a success, but time will tell if Burberry’s new straight to consumer catwalk model pays off.
There was a lighter, looser feel to Roksanda’s new collection, with the wide trousers and languid trench coat that opened the show setting a fresh mood for the season.
There was also a new sportiness, via racer-back dresses, go-faster stripes running along trouser legs and track suit-style striped collars.
The designer’s signature volume was also present, but more flyaway lightness that stiffness, including lovely full skirts, or via puffed up sleeves.
Roksanda’s rich palette was sun kissed for spring, including warm sunset terracotta and sunflower yellow.
Antonio Berardi showed a collection of contrasts coming together, fusing opposites to create something new.
Tailored jackets morphed into bodices and bralets, some with contrasting panels or sleeves of soft, billowy fabric, or featured a cut out corseted back, panelled in lace. Elsewhere, a matching suit’s jacket merged into its slim trousers to create an all in one jumpsuit.
Similarly, neat shirt dresses flared out to freely bouncing handkerchief hemlines. There were also frilled and tiered dresses into airy A-line shapes, and some skirts lined with eyelash like feathers.
Erdem Moralioglu’s signature frilled and flounced dresses took a dive this season, under water. The designer said he was inspired by a story from the 1600s of sunken ship, with princess dresses and ball gowns rising from the sea once again.
As always, this was a collection of myriad dresses, each as beautiful as the last in crisp broderie anglaise, in frilled lace, in ditsy florals or shimmering jacquard.
The newest detail focused on grosgrain ribbon ties, used as shoulder straps and decorative fastenings. Icy grey, watery silver and various blues dominated colourwise, with a couple of pops of red and yellow.
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Irish designer Sharon Wauchob usually shows her collections in Paris, but made the move to London for spring 17.
There was something of the morning after the night before to the collection. Big trench coats, wide lapelled jackets and mannish boxy blazers were thrown on over creased boudoir silks, picked up straight from the bedroom floor, while oversized shirting had a borrowed (or stolen) from the boys feel.
Signature lace trimmed long lingerie slips or came as light lacey layers worn on top of everything.
The louche and slouchy pyjama dressing we seen at several shows (particularly Burberry), was a key theme here too, with long pyjama tunics with elongated cuffed sleeves standing out.
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Sultry 1970s inspirations and tropical tones gave Sophia Webster’s collection a vibrant exotic feel, adding a bold, quirky extension to Webster’s characteristic, playfully feminine style.
Prints of birds of paradise adorned bags and stacked 1970s platforms, and the classic core shapes of the brand’s collection were reworked in bright jewel tones. Thigh high caged gladiator sandals and slogan bags added to the sense of quirky frivolity. The bold creations were balanced by the intricacy of some of the stilettos, which added a sophistication to the collection. Particular highlights were the peacock embellished cage shoes, as well as the metallic bright interpretation of Webster’s Chiara butterfly backed stilettos.
Suiting, reworked shirts, lace and ruffles, all of which have been a key feature on the London catwalks so far, were a dominant theme for Osman’s spring collection.
Strong tailored shapes in blazers, culottes, brocade dresses and shirts gave the collection an overall sense of power, with many pieces suited to a chic boardroom wardrobe. Bandaged trousers were given a workwear makeover in soft, smart grey – a loose fit with draped detailing. Double breasted jackets, slim fit blue shirts and a palette of blacks, blues and greys combined into a romantic, high-powered collection.
Alongside these smarter pieces, Osman also presented overtly feminine, sexy pieces in ruffled chiffons and sheers. Sheer overlays appeared on the catwalk, after featuring prominently in collections from Molly Goddard and Huishan Zhang.
In a season which has so far celebrated London’s heritage in the form of Tudor and Victorian influences – Ashish Gupta’s spring catwalk took the romance and heritage of Indian culture as its inspiration. Intricate glistening adornments, bold colours and fluid fabrics created a vibrant, yet serenely elegant collection, which brimmed with intrigue and detail.
Delicate flower embroidery was woven throughout the collection, with crystal embellishments giving a luxurious appeal to each item. While the inspiration came from Indian culture with references to Hinduism woven throughout – tradition was given a modern twist – with sequined trousers and slogan T-shirts adding to Ashish’s signature sense of 1990s eccentricity. The menswear collection was extremely androgynous, with skirts, sequins and feminine shapes all shown within both men’s and women’s, giving the whole show a fluid harmony.
The artisan floral embroidery was woven across both dresses, skirts and also denim in the collection – alongside pieces more overtly inspired by Indian culture sat an embroidered denim jacket, jeans and a denim skirt.
Pringle of Scotland
Longline shapes and heritage prints gave a demure elegance to the spring collection from Pringle of Scotland. The brand’s signature knitwear appeared as neutral toned dresses, tunics and jumpsuits in a display of luxurious loungewear. The collection evolved into smarter silhouettes however, with off-shoulder gowns in block primary colours and heritage checks giving a maturity to the collection.
Shapes were far from ordinary however, with tie waists, balloon sleeves and dual hem dresses highlights. With its use of print and knitwear the collection was a fitting interpretation of the Pringle traditions, presented with a pleasing unusual, modern twist.
As Kane celebrates his 10th anniversary this year, he presented a collection celebrating the rocky, chic, yet nevertheless elegant aesthetic which has become his signature. The show appeared to have a distinct evolution, with graphic floral lace dresses and skirts, paired with sketch-like prints and luxurious furs opening the show, before evolving into a jewel toned collection of lurex dresses marbled digital prints and gemstone embellishments. Negligee-inspired gowns and sheer cut-out dresses were paired alongside gloss leathers and safety-pins in a collection which showed Kane’s range. The neutral and muted gemstone palette maintained as a theme throughout.
Key pieces included the ‘St.Christopher’ beaded sweatshirts, panelled sequin gowns and lace mini dresses, redolent of Kane’s inaugural collection in spring 2007. However, the dominant talking point came in Kane’s use of Crocs footwear. Marbled, bejewelled versions of the divisive shoe caused an instant buzz on social media as they appeared on the runway – and seem set to be the cult shoe of next season, no doubt sparking imitations far and wide.
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