London Fashion Week: Burberry

When it comes to London Fashion Week, Burberry is the biggie. It’s the collection that grabs the headlines, thanks to an A-list front row and a show that’s as much theatre as it is fashion.

As guests took to the cream carpet at the specially-constructed marquee at Kensington Gardens on Monday, a crowd of onlookers seven-deep clamoured to catch a glimpse of the celebrities heading for the front row.

Eddie Redmayne, Clemence Poesy, Mario Testino, Kate Bosworth, Will-i-am, Alexa Chung and Samantha Cameron were all present for a show that was pure performance.

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Burberry has found its niche offering a polished, quintessentially British aesthetic which appeals to a global market, and this was a collection which played to that with a ‘town & field’ theme.

Creative director Christopher Bailey delivered country living with a city sheen; models wore tweed flat caps and carried umbrellas with duck head handles. A palette of neutrals, plums, greens and mustards was distinctly autumnal, as were the herringbone tweeds and horse blankets, manipulated into structured coats and bulky bomber jackets.

As ever at Burberry, the outerwear was the star attraction. Jackets were cropped or featured extreme peplums splaying out from fitted waists. The final look saw model Cara Delevingne in a striking deep plum quilted princess coat which drew gasps from audience members.

Bailey is a fan of a spoiled rich-kid vibe with a tousled edge, and as such, structured cord pencil skirts were paired with T-shirts with cutesy owls scrawled across them.

There was plenty here to satisfy the English eccentric looking to blow her inheritance. Knits were oversized and cosy, white blouses voluminous, and tweedy looks were softened with ruched bow belts.

References to the countryside were frequent and overt, taking the form of bellow pockets on blazers or gold fox heads on belts and bags. By the time the last model exited the runway The assembled audience might have been happy to skip summer altogether and head straight for September, such was the autumnal mood.

We got our wish; a storm brewed over the sound system and to the soundtrack of thunderclaps, staged ’rain’ fell on the transparent tent above our heads. Models re-emerged carrying umbrellas as glitter tumbled from the ceiling. Even US Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour smiled.

Burberry doesn’t tend to break new ground but it certainly sells clothes, and this collection was available to buy on their website instantly. Fashion fans watched the show online around the world and it was beamed into Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Twitter went wild the moment it finished with fans eager to buy into the Burberry dream of youth and privilege, and the brand cemented itself as the biggest, splashiest draw at London Fashion Week.