IN its new Kensington Gardens show space (they’re letting the grass grow in the usual Kensington Gore location) Burberry Prorsum’s autumn/winter 2014 show started to the backdrop of a watercoloured London skyline canvas today, and it wasn’t long before it flowed onto the catwalk. Christopher Bailey always champions a cover-up – be it the trench, the biker or the cape – and today was the turn of the perennially chic sheepskin, which came hand-painted with simple florals, leaves and abstract decoration in gentle faded brushstrokes. For those that hadn’t been decorated, long scarves in punchy patterns injected vivacity.
It was an unusually loose and languid collection – everything swished and swirled as the models moved – though light-as-air silk-chiffon and lace dresses and those scarves cinched together at the waist created a restraint which gave balance to the constant diaphanous line. In more ways than one, it harked back to Bailey’s menswear collection in January – the scarves, the sheepskins and those magic carpet bags – showing us how Bailey’s boy and girl look together (the answer is good).
As ever the music – this time comprising live performances from Paloma Faith, Ed Harcourt and Rhodes – and the famous front row garnered almost as much attention as the clothes. Jamie Campbell-Bower, Tinie Tempah and Harry Styles (clearly word had gotten out that Styles was on the guest list as the pathway into the venue was lined with anxious-looking One Directioners) joined Bradley Cooper, fresh from the BAFTAs, who was there to support girlfriend Suki Waterhouse.
Joining Waterhouse on the runway today was the usual Burberry roll call (and who’s who of hot-property models): Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Edie Campbell, Matilda Lowther, Malaika Firth, Charlotte Wiggins and Sam Rollinson. Bailey does like to create a spectacle, and what better way to do it than to wow with the casting? He showed his appreciation of their participation by sending each model out for the finale wearing a blanket personalised with their initials, in doing so, creating the new trophy piece of the season.