LFW – a few highlights
Text Angelica Carrara
The Burberry catwalk show began at 5 pm – but not on the dot as is usually the case. Beneath the Thames, in a former postal sorting office transformed into a monochromatic labyrinth, with mirrors, walls and curtains in every shade of beige. Kingdom, the first collection designed by Riccardo Tisci – “is a celebration of Burberry’s heritage, the English style and England, a country I love”, the designer commented backstage following the show. But this was far from that romantic, nostalgic British style that only Christopher Bailey – the brand’s Creative Director for seventeen years – could conjure. No live orchestra this time – the soundtrack was by Robert Del Naja, of super group Massive Attack (Tisci has been a fan since his student days in London). Models included Cat McNeil, Kendall Jenner and Stella Tennant.
A melting pot collection. We expected the opening trench coat: no double row of buttons, single breasted, in gabardine, cinched in at the waist by a chocolate-colored maxi elastic belt. Then the beige brigade, at least the first 40 of the 134 looks brought a crescendo of nude color. First came the refined, the elegant, a sort of seductive haute bourgeoisie, blouses with bows and pleated monogrammed skirts – the new logo, created by Peter Saville, was unveiled last month. Then the punk – leather zip-up miniskirts, mesh, patent and lettering on T-shirts. Trenches trimmed with rings and chains. Then the streetwear – which we were already aware of, before closing with a series of long black jersey dresses. Burberry’s recent renouncement of real fur is likely to be one of the ‘tongue-in-cheek’ reasons why Tisci has embraced the animal print, Dalmatian included. Even going as far as a T-shirt emblazoned with Why did they kill Bambi? –as if the bridge with Givenchy wasn’t already clear enough.
The MM6 Margiela charity ball. First London catwalk, and a chance to declare the brand’s social commitment with the phrase There is more action to be done to fight aids than to wear this t-shirt but it’s a good start, which appeared for the first time in 1994, on the T-shirt created by Margiela in support of non-profit organization AIDES. A remake – with part of the revenue of this latest collection, where Paris and London come together, to be donated to French charity AIDES. Vintage pieces bought at Paris’s Clignancourt flea market provided the basis for the show, mixed with London grunge. Satin dresses in Belle Epoque shades – electric violet, mint green and pistachio, on cotton sweatshirts, leather and denim patches. Jewelry made from chandelier crystals. While the Tabi boots – a brand icon since 1988 which separates the big toe from the rest, were parodied in a socks and sandals version.
Simone Rocha, London Fashion darling – according to The Sunday Times. With her fluctuating silhouette now highly recognizable – she made her catwalk debut in 2010. Victorian inspiration, as always, romantic in volumes and fabrics – balloon skirts, puffy sleeves, brocade, embroidery and taffeta, flat shoes with feathers, veils, lace, sheer sections, pearls and frills above all. Chinese appeal, in a nod to the designer’s origins. The tall hat covered with veils that was worn by ladies during the Tang dynasty. Pixie Geldof, Daisy Lowe and Alexa Chung had front row seats. Along with Simone’s mother and her designer father John Rocha. In anticipation of her coming collection with Moncler – Simone Rocha is one of the eight Creative Directors of the Moncler Genius project –, during Milan Fashion Week.
Birthdays and debuts – Alexa Chung’s first LFW show, while Mary Katranzou and Victoria Beckham make their tenth appearance. Pringle of Scotland relaunches The Bulletin, the in-house magazine inspired by the historic company publication, the Pringle Bulletin, originally launched after the Second World War to report on the latest styles and the Hollywood starlets wearing Pringle twinsets. “Showcasing cashmere jumpers and the Scottish waters, in the Hawick factory where Pringle produces its knitwear. In another column, thirty men and women from different backgrounds express their personality through Pringle garments”, explains Fran Stigner, Creative Director and now also Editor-in-Chief. Big reunion at Stella McCartney, with Mr Stan Smith in attendance – “some people think I’m a shoe”, he says, revealing the first Stan Smith – shoe –, in vegan leather.