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Tisci’s first Burberry show a London Fashion Week hit

September 17, 2018
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A model wears a creation by Burberry during their Spring/Summer 2019 runway show at London Fashion Week in London, Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

LONDON (AP) — All eyes were on Burberry Monday as new chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci showed his first collection for the venerable British house.

It was a diverse, wide-ranging show, both showcasing the brand’s heritage and expanding on it. Earlier, Christopher Kane showed a provocative collection built on one of his favorite themes: sexuality in all its glory.

Here are some of Friday’s London Fashion Week highlights:

NEW BURBERRY CHIEF DRAWS BIG CROWD

The first thing different about the debut show by Burberry’s new chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci was the setting: no glitz, no over-the-top glamour, no chilled champagne for guests.

Instead, the show was held at an old post office sorting center next to the new U.S. Embassy, which President Donald Trump has criticized for being in a bad part of London.

But the clothes — the clothes emphasized Burberry’s proud tradition in a disciplined, orderly way that made it clear that Tisci wants to build on the brand’s reputation, not rebuild it from the ground up after replacing Christopher Bailey.

Fashion stylist Zerina Akers, who works closely with Beyonce, was knocked out by the show.

“The collection is incredible,” she said, showing no signs of jet lag after a long trip from Los Angeles to see Tisci’s debut firsthand. “It satisfies the hunger for both classic femininity and modernism which thrilled me.”

The first model wore, not surprisingly, a Burberry trench with a slight twist to make it Tisci’s own take on what has long been a foundation of the brand’s enduring popularity.

The show was divided into three parts: the refined, the relaxed and evening wear. There were trench coats and car coats with cinched waists, pleated skirts and pencil shirts, and pussybow blouses for the “refined” look, which was followed by a punkier, less studied style that Tisci said was meant to capture the rebellious spirit of U.K. fashion.

And finally, the evening wear, a series of spectacular, full-length black jersey dresses, some with gold detailing.

Tisci seemed in control of all these diverse approaches. Early in his reign, he doesn’t want to pigeonhole Burberry and limit his future options.

“This show is a celebration of the cultures, the traditions, and the codes of this historic fashion house and of the eclecticism that makes up the beautifully diverse United Kingdom,” he said.

KANE HIGHLIGHTS ANIMAL MAGNETISM

Christopher Kane’s catwalk show transformed part of the Tate Modern museum into a celebration of sex and nature.

The popular designer’s show Monday contained several outfits with a “sexual cannibalism” theme, including one with a T-shirt showing Kane’s own drawing of praying mantises mating.

“They were my hand drawings,” he said after the show. “I made a lot of drawings of praying mantises killing each other” while mating.

The quirky designer said he was partially inspired by the words of revered nature broadcaster David Attenborough and also by Marilyn Monroe.

The soundtrack featured their words intercut with each other, Kane said afterward with a smile.

“David Attenborough had a huge influence on me growing up,” said Kane, who confessed he could watch the Discovery channel nonstop if given the chance.

The theme of sexuality often plays large in Kane’s shows. In February, his collection paid homage to the “Joy of Sex” books.

Some of his fans wore shirts from that collection at Friday’s show.

It was an eclectic Kane collection displayed Friday, including a striking, barely there little black dress and a series of elegant, long pleated skirts paired with revealing, lacy tops.

He always surprises. There was a beautifully cut tuxedo paired with a white T-shirt with an animal theme, and a stunning white geometric mini-dress. One model wore a startling, sheer red dress, while other outfits had what seemed to be jeweled metallic stripes used to decorate the arms.

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