London Fashion Week: models apart, star power was lacking
A clash with the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles meant celebrities were thin on the ground in the British capital
London Fashion Week rolled out the big guns this week, with British design powerhouse Burberry hosting the glitziest catwalk show of the season. Hunter, the maker of the classic Wellington boots, evoked wild Scottish countryside with indoor waterfalls, while Christopher Kane seduced with clothes featuring nude life drawings.
The fashion industry is notorious for its lax timekeeping - a half-hour delay is normal - but unusually strict show times at Burberry meant that one very late guest almost didn’t get to see the show.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell, sporting a fluffy white fur coat and dark glasses, arrived well after the catwalk display began and had to push through the crowds to get to her seat in the front.
She didn’t seem fazed, though, settling quickly down next to celebrity photographer Mario Testino. Fellow guests swiftly whipped out their smartphones to photograph Campbell, though on the catwalk no one batted an eyelid at the disruption.
With the Oscars clashing with London Fashion Week, the past few days have seen a dearth of big names gracing catwalk front rows. Not so at Burberry. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal squeezed in with Grammy-winning musician Sam Smith, and all the top British models were here: Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn.
Campbell and Moss were clearly having a good time, singing and clapping along to the music as a shower of confetti rained down to wrap up the show.
Reinforcing fashion’s current fling with all things retro, Burberry showed off a collection rich in patchworks of floral embroidery, bohemian ponchos and quilt-like textures.
The first look, a cosy turquoise and grass-green printed poncho laden with long suede fringes, set the tone. Then came folksy tiered, paisley dresses and hippie versions of the brand’s bestselling trench coats, all tan suede and adorned with tassels.
A tan suede cape-dress, covered all over with tiers of fringes - and worn with tasseled shoe-boots, no less - won approving nods from the stars and models gathered in the front row.
Backstage, design chief Christopher Bailey said he wanted to explore “all the different crafts that we have in the British Isles”.
Burberry is the biggest and most successful British brand at London Fashion Week, and it’s a fairly safe bet that whatever Bailey sends down the catwalk will be copied in a few months in a store near you.
“You know, it’s always delightful when something really resonates with people,” Bailey said modestly of the influence he wields in fashion. “But you never really know when you do a show how people might express it or translate it.”
Bailey said he was “intensely proud” that Eddie Redmayne - who had modelled for Burberry - won best actor at the Oscars on Sunday.
“Not only is he one of the most charming people that you’ll ever meet, but he’s one of the most talented actors that you’ll ever meet as well, so I’m completely delighted for him,” he said.