London Fashion Week wraps up with a Burberry bang

Luxury British fashion house Burberry unveiled its highly anticipated display on the final day

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The hotly anticipated London Fashion Week wrapped up Monday as global fashion aficionados pack up their designer luggage and head to Milan for the last leg of international spring/summer 2017 shows.

Luxury British fashion house Burberry unveiled its highly anticipated display on the final day, an opulent affair featuring frilly blouses, velvet blazers and silky pajama shirts - for both men and women.

Soaring live orchestral music, opera singers, an imposing new show venue complete with classical sculptures: Burberry’s latest display is a very grand affair indeed.

So it comes as no surprise that the clothes on show are just as opulent. Minimalism had no place here: The luxury British brand’s new collection featured flamboyant military coats, frilly high collars reminiscent of portraits of Queen Elizabeth I, rich velvet and brocade, and silky pajamas layered under floral jackets — designs intended for both genders.

Meanwhile, Topshop Unique debuted a new “runway to retail” model for fashion-hungry consumers on Sunday, while luxury goods brand Mulberry showed off a collection rich in feminine ruffles and school uniform-inspired stripes.

Topshop Unique’s 1980s-inspired collection has something for everyone: Zebra prints, sassy high-slit dresses, tuxedos and hot pink shoes. Even better for the brand’s mostly young fans: Much of it can be bought with a click, straight from the catwalk.

The retail giant has big words for its new runway-to-retail business model: “The future of the fashion show,” and the “democratization” of London Fashion Week.

Whatever one calls it, it’s clear what this trend means - faster fashion, for anyone with internet around the world. Topshop’s Unique label may be the first at London Fashion Week to reach out to more consumers with its “see now, buy now” plan, but it certainly won’t be the last.

As well as runway trends, the uncertainty of how Britain’s exit from the EU (Brexit) will affect the industry was also a hot topic among fashionistas.

“There have been a lot of questions about post-Brexit. Is this going to change? For us it’s really important that it doesn’t,” Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC), told Reuters.

“If anything, we use this as an opportunity to reaffirm partnerships, to create new partnerships and to be able to build businesses not only with Europe but also with the rest of the world.”

According to a BFC pre-referendum survey, more than 90 percent of 290 designers said they wanted to stay in the EU.

The fashion industry contributes some 28 billion pounds ($36 billion) to the UK economy, according to figures cited by the BFC, and many brands operate stores across Europe. Last year, the value of British fashion exports was 5.8 billion pounds, driven by markets like the US, Japan, Italy and France.

“If I would have had my way it would have gone the other way (remain in EU) but it didn’t and we have got to make the best of what we have,” Burberry chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey told Reuters of the vote. “I am remaining incredibly positive. We have got a very global business.”

(With Reuters and the Associated Press)



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