London fashion: Python at Burberry, faded romance at Erdem

AP News
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Posted: Feb 22, 2016 1:56 PM
London fashion: Python at Burberry, faded romance at Erdem

LONDON (AP) — London Fashion Week rolled out some of its biggest shows Monday, with luxury label Burberry leading a hectic catwalk schedule that also includes designers Erdem, Peter Pilotto, Christopher Kane and Roksanda.

Some highlights from Day 4:

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BURBERRY UNVEILS TARTAN, PYTHON, SEQUINS

Burberry made its customary dramatic impact on London Fashion Week with a sometime-dazzling show. Design wizard Christopher Bailey has once more found new ways to reimagine the brand's traditional strengths, transforming the trademark trench coat style into a variety of sparkly metallic looks that were anything but military in tone.

There were military coats, of course, but they were made of cashmere — far more comfortable than anything worn on the Western Front way back when. There were trench coats, cape coats, tunics and regimental jackets, some in military blue with red piping, but the looks were feminine, not severe. The collection mixes motifs, often in one outfit: a military style tunic and cape worn over a beautifully made flapper dress that would have served well in a Chicago speakeasy.

Most impressive were some of the colorful sequined tops that shimmered with a metallic sheen on the catwalk and the patchwork skirted mini-dresses, some in floral patterns. Bailey made extensive use of green outerwear and dresses, but used a variety of subtle shades to make the color most associated with military overcoats much more lighthearted. There was some sexy grunge, some truly elegant evening wear in subdued shades, and a trench that seemed to be made of shiny vinyl.

"The collection was really a patchwork of everything that I love from music to the Mitford sisters, different period of history, a little bit of glam rock in there," Bailey said backstage after the show. "The idea of running through a field in wellies was in there. So it was really this mish-mash of all different worlds put together."

The presentation had a definite 1960s flavor, with Donovan's version of "The Universal Soldier" protest song playing as guests arrived and singer Jake Bugg performing solo on acoustic guitar throughout the show.

Burberry is one of the highlights of London Fashion Week, and front row guests Monday included Vogue editor Anna Wintour, in a blue print dress, actress Noomi Rapace and model Naomi Campbell in a glamorous military style outfit of blue and red.

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FADED GOLDEN AGE GLAMOUR AT ERDEM

Canadian designer Erdem Moralioglu's new collection is all about early 20th century glamour tinged with sadness, as if he were reflecting on screen divas trapped in old sepia photos.

As soon as guests arrive they are greeted with a dimmed stage suggesting a crumbled grand period mansion, complete with art deco lights, chandeliers, ornate columns and overturned chairs.

Models wore ankle-length slim gowns in a mostly-gloomy palette of black, navy and burgundy, adorned by myriad ruffles, shimmering brocade flowers and the intricate embroidery that the designer is famous for. A pair of unexpected, sky blue leather gloves brightened some of the outfits.

Standout looks included a gown with long gold tinsel-like tassels paired with an ivory mohair jumper, and a gunmetal grey sequined gown with matching cape.

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PETER PILOTTO SEES SILVER AND BLUE FUTURE

The mood was icy cold at Peter Pilotto, from the silver foil-lined runway to the many shades of glacial blue on the models.

The label, headed by duo Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos, unveiled a new collection of futuristic, metallic designs full of high shine and iridescent fabrics. Colorful prints and strange squiggles that look like they came from a science fiction movie set completed the otherworldly theme.

Memorable pieces included thick shimmering silver and navy hooded coats, richly covered in embroidery, as well as a floaty silver gown covered in a sequined diamond pattern.