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Bees, bright colours and bondage at London Fashion Week

16 september 2014, 11:41
0

 Burberry Prorsum and Roksanda Ilincic presented two very different visions of dressing up at London Fashion Week on Monday, but both were feminine, flattering and bursting with colour, AFP reports.

Elsewhere, Scottish designer Christopher Kane paid tribute to Louise Wilson, his former teacher at Central Saint Martins fashion college who died earlier this year, with a collection inspired by his graduate show -- and a hint of bondage.

Models Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne, the faces of Burberry's new campaign, were in the front row at the British luxury label's spring/summer 2015 show styled on the theme of the "Birds and the Bees".

There were coats, layered tulle dresses, denim jackets and draped skirts in natural shades -- poppy red, fern yellow, dragonfly blue and beetle green -- accessorised with bags roomy enough to contain a small hive.

Burberry's classic trench coat was reinvented once again, decorated in bold prints taking inspiration from scrawled text and insects and flowers, while floaty sheer skirts were dyed with a range of colour tones.

  Eye-popping colour 

Bold colour was also the name of the game at Roksanda, as Serbian-born Ilincic has renamed her eponymous brand, using manmade fabrics such as neoprene in eye-popping orange, pink or blue, contrasted with soft natural fibres such as silk organza.

Half the collection consisted of frocks, boyish trousers, sleeveless shirts and oversized coats in just one or two colours, embellished only with exaggerated sculptural folds and the occasional scatter of plastic trinkets sewn onto the fabric.

Elsewhere there were viscose skirts, dresses and tops in geometric photographic prints, for what she said was a collection designed for the "ease of summer".

With full collections expected at fashion week twice a year, not to mention the rolling demands of accessories, pre-collections and menswear shows, the pressure on modern designers is relentless.

But Ilincic insists she has no shortage of ideas, and is encouraged by her four-year-old daughter, who watched the show and afterwards made her mother laugh by putting her hand on her hip and striding down the empty runway.

"In a way you get into a flow. The inspirations come one after the other because often in one collection you don't manage to express everything you want to, so you can carry it over," Ilincic told AFP.

  'Subtle nod to bondage' 

For his inspiration this season, Kane looked back through the work he did as a student under Wilson, whose no-nonsense advice and teaching, he said, ensured "I am where I am today".

Kane has been one of the hottest tickets in town since his graduate show in 2006, and is building his eponymous label into a major brand -- aided by the investment of luxury French group Kering which bought a 51 percent stake last year.

"There were dresses that I was making then, things that were not shown, that featured coils, cords and ropes. I decided to revisit them, that simple cord idea sparking other thoughts," he said in the show programme.

The result was a sophisticated collection of cocktail dresses, sheer tops, pleated skirts and jackets with a variety of cord designs, in a palette spanning rich bordeaux, sky blue, black and cream.

There were graphic prints of rows of rope, actual drawstrings nipping in the waist, loop-effect necklines and embroidered coils on sheer fabric.

Kane has come far since the tarty, neon dresses he produced at college, but he has not lost his naughty side. The cord motif, he said, is a "subtle note to bondage".

by Alice RITCHIE


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