LONDON (Reuters) – Floral prints and Victorian ruffles defined Burberry’s first “see-now-buy-now” collection at London Fashion Week on Monday, while Christopher Kane opted to spin a high-fashion twist on the utilitarian Crocs slip-on boating shoes.
British label Burberry debuted both menswear and womenswear collections on the runway and made them immediately available to purchase through physical and online stores, eschewing the traditional six-month wait from runway to retail.
The androgynous collections drew inspiration from Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel “Orlando,” a tale of a gender-shifting aristocratic poet, and from British interior designer Nancy Lancaster’s English country house designs.
Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey told Reuters he was inspired by the idea of “living through different periods and the fluidity of gender.”
“I think our industry is changing quite dramatically, as are all industries, because of technology, because of different behaviors,” he said.
“I wanted to try to reflect that a little bit in the collection, having these very historic parts to the collection, historic references and crafts, but also have a real modernity and a contemporary approach to the way we communicate this collection.”
A star-studded front row at Burberry that included Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, model Cara Delevingne and actresses Felicity Jones and Lily James, watched a palette of garden hues in deep verdant greens, dusky pinks and earthy yellows on the runway.
Highlights included jackets and deconstructed trench coats inspired by British military styles, ruffle-collared blouses, and tapered trousers in fabrics ranging from silk and cashmere to denim and wool.
Over at Scottish designer Christopher Kane’s show at the Tate Britain museum, foam Croc shoes studded with unpolished gems were the talking point.
Kane’s spring/summer 2017 collection, entitled ‘Make Do and Mend,’ was inspired by wartime efficiency, with geometric print tops layered over floral motif skirts, printed coats, oversized knit cardigans and dresses held together by safety pins.
The collection featured busy prints, floral confections, embroidered black leather and leopard prints in palettes of navy blue, burnt orange, shimmering bronze and dusky pinks.
The show was attended by Poppy Delevingne, Daisy Lowe and actress Salma Hayek.
Fashion blogger Susie Lau called the Kane collection “monumental,” adding, “I think he was really reflecting back on the last 10 years of his career and there were a bit of everything that he has done.”
(Reporting by Reuters TV in London; Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy in Los Angeles; Editing by Mary Milliken)