London Fashion Week

From countryside chic to plastic fantastic

The Burberry Autumn/Winter 2018 collection saw plastic-clad models (above) strutting down the runway. The Nicopanda label tied up with Amazon to offer one-hour delivery for a selection of its new collection presented at London Fashion Week.
The Burberry Autumn/Winter 2018 collection saw plastic-clad models (above) strutting down the runway. The Nicopanda label tied up with Amazon to offer one-hour delivery for a selection of its new collection presented at London Fashion Week.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
The Burberry Autumn/Winter 2018 collection saw plastic-clad models strutting down the runway. The Nicopanda label tied up with Amazon to offer one-hour delivery for a selection of its new collection (above) presented at London Fashion Week.
The Burberry Autumn/Winter 2018 collection saw plastic-clad models strutting down the runway. The Nicopanda label tied up with Amazon to offer one-hour delivery for a selection of its new collection (above) presented at London Fashion Week.PHOTO: XINHUA

LONDON • In troubled times, British fashion designer Jonathan Anderson has tailor-made a "sanctuary" solution.

His shows are among the most closely followed at London Fashion Week and the queue outside the door for this year's edition once again drew a who's who of British fashion.

Over the weekend, the 33-year- old offered creations that had a zen-like quality and emphasised comfort, though not without elegance, and even a bit of impertinence.

"The main idea was to kind of ground everything," said Anderson, who is also artistic director for Spanish accessories brand Loewe, owned by LVMH.

He added that the designs were intended to show a "stillness" so that "no matter how hysterical things become, everything will always have a ground level".

The collection was "like a sanctuary where it's calm before the storm", he said.

"I think we get very hysterical. I think media make us hysterical and I think sometimes, you have to go back to basics."

The designs had a countryside feel to them, with plenty of comfortable dresses going below the knee and practical shoes that looked like walking boots.

The palette also had an earth-like quality with sky blue, pistachio green, dark red and leather colours.

Anderson is a fan of paradoxes.

The collection was both modern and classical, wise and bold, mixing vintage corset-like designs with sleeveless T-shirts.

Elsewhere, see-through plastic and short skirts were on display at Burberry as the quintessentially British brand gave itself a youthful injection.

Under the new stewardship of Marco Gobbetti - formerly chief executive of French luxury brand Celine - the Burberry Autumn/ Winter 2018 collection proved it was possible to expertly combine heritage with a dash of boldness and a hint of fantasy.

The audience of celebrities and VIPs - from Kate Moss to it-girl Lennon Gallagher - squeezed into the 18th-century Old Sessions House to watch plastic-clad models strut down the catwalk.

The plastic, always see-through, came in a variety of colours, from antique yellow to pink and turquoise.

One look comprised a soft- touch plastic anorak worn against the bare skin under a laid-back soft camel leather jacket and accessorised with gold sandals.

Another saw the same supple plastic anorak layered over a heavy- wool tartan skirt.

Flowy bohemian dresses were dwarfed under clashing tartan trench coats in another one.

Bailey also used English lace to craft long, sensual skirts, yet also tapped into streetwear with baseball caps - although there was no mistaking Burberry's emblematic tartan.

This week, Anderson will also be presenting a collection created for Japanese brand Uniqlo.

"I'm obsessed by them. I wear their clothes on a daily basis," he said. "So when they approached me, it was like a no-brainer."

The start of London Fashion Week hit a slight snag, however, as protesters urged Burberry to denounce the use of fur and promote animal rights, shouting "shame on you".

London Fashion Week will feature 80 catwalks across the city, bringing in 5,000 buyers, journalists and VIP guests, until tomorrow.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 18, 2017, with the headline 'From countryside chic to plastic fantastic'. Print Edition | Subscribe