Anti-fur protesters caused chaos outside several shows; Burberry was “a little more honest, a little less polished”; and 1990s minimalism is back. The fashion editors and reporters of Styles and T round up the highlights of the week.
Burberry Proved It Was Back in Business With a Standout Show
Burberry has been in flux in recent seasons, with its move to the “see now, buy now” system, the arrival of a new chief executive amid falling sales, and an aesthetic that could be politely described as “in a state of transition.”
On Saturday night it felt like it was finally back in business, with a storming show of streetwise men’s and women’s wear that fizzed with youthful zest while staying rooted in its outerwear signatures and that infamous camel check. In a new site — a former courthouse in Clerkenwell, where walls were lined with photographs documenting British life from the early 20th century to the present — models including Adwoa Aboah and Kaia Gerber strutted through rooms to a soundtrack of Pet Shop Boys classics.
They wore plaid Burberry caps, penny loafers and dazzling shoulder-grazing single diamond earrings (the guys in the show did, too). Fair Isle knits, techy track pants and military uniforms reworked into miniskirts were overlaid with plastic oversize macs and car coats, trenches and Harrington jackets, to impressive high-low effect.
“A little more honest, a little less polished,” was how the creative director Christopher Bailey summed it up backstage. He was smiling as guests milled in a room nearby of portraits and projections shot for him by Gosha Rubchinskiy, king of youth culture. The change in direction clearly suited Mr. Bailey. It suits Burberry too. — ELIZABETH PATON, European correspondent, Styles
The Molly Goddard Show Always Feels a Little Bit Like a Party
Continue reading the main story
With her dreamy tulle dresses and imaginative presentations, the designer Molly Goddard always stages one of the best shows of London Fashion Week. Last year her show revolved around an epic banquet table; the year before it was a runway rave. Ms. Goddard’s presentations make you feel like you want to be in her close circle of friends.
This season was no different. The model Edie Campbell opened the show in a creamy muslin gown, black stretch headband and biker boots. She carried an e-cigarette and a glass of Champagne, and the mood was light. What followed were models dancing, posing and having fun in an array of Ms. Goddard’s signature voluminous dresses. — MALINA JOSEPH GILCHRIST, style director, women’s, T magazine
Duro Olowu’s Riotous Prints Packed Real Punch
Sometimes the best things at fashion week go on behind closed doors; an under-the-radar presentation by Duro Olowu was a case in point. The Nigerian-born designer, who introduced his first collection in 2004, is a favorite of Michelle Obama and Solange Knowles. They, and many others, may covet multiple looks from Mr. Olowu’s latest sumptuous 28-piece collection, inspired this season by Lee Miller, who was a model, an artists’ muse and a World War II photographer.
The show was staged in the drawing room of a mansion in Mayfair alongside a decadent afternoon tea, and Mr. Olowu guided guests through the collection, which married his signature geometric and floral prints with a 1940s-leaning silhouette anchored around the waist. Sleeveless silk dresses with matching jackets rippled with elegance, as did cotton dresses with puffed oversize sleeves and starched wide-leg pants. A mustard-yellow belted trouser suit with wide lapels and cargo pockets, along with a tiered lilac cape with printed trompe-l’oeil style ocher flowers, were also standouts, bringing color and charm to an overcast Sunday afternoon. — E.P.
There Was a Strong Showing For Minimalism, Too
Continue reading the main story
There are certain expectations when you come to London Fashion Week: prints and embellishments galore. So it was refreshing to see a few designers resist the temptation to add a sequin or a sparkle, and stick to more quiet offerings for spring.
The first was J.W. Anderson, who decided to substitute more complicated designs in favor of simpler silhouettes. Margaret Howell, who is always known for her pragmatic clothing, this season showed black knit polos and pleated gray skirts in a collection that was simple and beautiful. And at Joseph, the designer Louise Trotter exercised her tailoring skills with a selection of oversize suiting. Just the kinds of things I’ll want to wear next spring. — M.J.G.
Anti-Fur Protesters Caused Chaos Outside Several Shows
Major names on the London calendar including Burberry, Versus Versace and Gareth Pugh were targeted by animal rights activists, and the protests outside the shows became news far beyond the front row.
Holding up signs with slogans like “Cruelty Is Never Style,” “Animals Are Not a Fabric” and “Say No to Fur,” demonstrators catcalled, spat and blocked entry and exit points to sites, forcing security guards and police to form human barriers so visibly frightened guests could get through.
The rallies, organized by Surge, an organization that describes itself as being “determined to create a world where compassion toward nonhuman animals is the norm,” focused on brands that the activists said had used fur in past collections. A key demand, a Surge spokesperson said, was that the British Fashion Council now ban the use of fur on all catwalks. (None of the shows targeted this season used fur in their spring/summer 2018 collections.)
On Saturday evening, at the Burberry show in the district of Clerkenwell, the scene was especially charged. Protesters tried to enter the backstage area; celebrities including Kate Moss, Anna Wintour and the British rapper Stormzy were heckled with shouts of “Shame on you”; and the show started late because of the situation outside. In recent years, an uneasy truce appeared to have been found between animal rights groups and the fashion industry, with many major brands and retailers banning the use of fur. But this week seemed to suggest there is still more work to be done. — E.P.