Burberry takes Fashion Week back to the 50s

Worldwide mega-brand reasserts its heritage status

There was little sign of anxiety at Burberry's London Fashion Week show yesterday, despite the megabrand issuing a profit warning last week – swiftly followed by a drop in its share price.

Instead, guests were greeted at the vast marquee in Kensington Gardens by a projected London skyline, in which Burberry's newly opened 44,000 sq ft flagship store on Regent Street featured prominently.

And chief creative officer Christopher Bailey's collection was no less bombastic, a celebration of the Prorsum line's high-end credentials with sumptuous fabrics and couture detailing, and a reassertion of its hip-heritage status among some of the world's wealthiest private clients.

The label's signature trench was reworked in a spectrum of holographic shades, from hot pink via aubergine to cobalt and apple green, and reimagined as cropped mini-capes, bolero bomber jackets and cocoon coats with the voluminous sack-back and drop-shouldered silhouette so redolent of the 1950s golden age of atelier craftsmanship.

Artisanal touches came on plisse silk corsets, laser-cut lace outerwear and separates, and a bustier dress covered in royal blue feathers, a bold statement of the brand's unshakable luxe identity and faith in its chosen commercial route.

Young designer Christopher Kane meanwhile, dealt with the nuts and bolts in his offering yesterday. Sharply cut and classically feminine crêpe de Chine dresses in white, lemon yellow and bubblegum pink were ingeniously held together at the shoulder with moulded plastic fastenings shaped like wingnuts; they came as buttons on boxy jackets and skirts, too.

Restrained decoration came by way of fluid planes of fabric that cascaded down the front of minimal Sixties-style shift dresses. But Kane's vision of femininity was toughened up with padded leather motorcross jackets featuring an embossed pattern of roses, and haphazard strips of packing tape used as rough embellishment. His great strength as a designer is creating glamorously modern clothes that are conceptual, cool and comfortable.

Stiffly frilled organdie skirts and dresses were printed with nostalgically twee bows, which were later realised in 3D in the same rubberised plastic and worked into latticed skirts and jackets. "That was a bit of a cash-and carry-moment," the designer said. "The bows were meant to be sickly sweet, the colours were serene so you didn't know what was coming next."

London Fashion Week draws to a close today with shows from Mulberry and Meadham Kirchhoff.

Transport kindly provided by Mercedes Benz

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Property Manager

    £13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Junior Property Manager in a yo...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Development Manager

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: Service and Installation Engineer

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: SEO / Outreach Executive

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a global marketin...

    Day In a Page

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?