LONDON (AP) — The Burberry showcase is the highlight of any London Fashion Week, and with good reason. Guests and journalists alike can always expect an impressive production, a well-chosen live musician, a roster of international stars just jetting in for the show, a line-up of well-designed clothes and a bit of a twist.
At the fall-winter 2016 menswear presentation, the catwalk crisscrossed the venue in meandering paths that met at the music stand in the middle, where Benjamin Clementine played a sorrowful, heart-stopping live set.
“I wanted there to be more intimacy. There is something very artificial about a runway show and I wanted people to get closer to the clothes,” said Chief Creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey.
“I wanted the whole mood to be a little more gentle and a little bit more serene.”
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But the ace in the sleeve was the inclusion in the model line-up of Chinese superstar Kris Wu, a former K-pop idol currently shooting Luc Besson’s latest film.
Guest stars including Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen; musicians Mark Ronson, Tinie Tempah and Jack Garratt; Brooklyn Beckham; and South Korean actor Lee Jong-suk looked on as the models sported a deliberate luxe casual look through and through.
Bailey said the company tried to marry the sartorial with the functional in a bid to be more “honest about who we are as a company.”
“We were born from a trench coat, and we had on the runway trench coats that were from the 1930s … and also pieces that we had designed 3 days ago and for me it is that type of blending of these different worlds.”
Military coats, duffle coats and even re-issued trench coats and a variety of jackets were overlaid with casual polo shirts and track suits, which came in both matte and sequined versions. A lone long-haired grey fox fur coat made an almost dissonant note of unchecked extravagance until one noticed the military red track suit top underneath. The classic Burberry geometry made a discreet appearance on scarves and the outerwear.
In honor of David Bowie, whose death was reported earlier in the morning, some models sported glittery makeup, while some had written “Bowie” across their open palms.
The colors stayed on a cold-season spectrum of claret, grey, navy, ochre and black.