LONDON — London Fashion Week rolled out the big guns Monday, with British design powerhouse Burberry hosting the glitziest catwalk show of the season. Hunter, the maker of the classic Wellington boots, evoked wild Scottish countryside with indoor waterfalls, while Christopher Kane seduced with clothes featuring nude life drawings.
Here are some highlights from Day 4:
FASHIONABLY LATE - OR NOT?
The fashion industry is notorious for its lax timekeeping - a half-hour delay is normal - but unusually strict show times at Burberry meant that one very late guest almost didn't get to see the show.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell, sporting a fluffy white fur coat and dark glasses, arrived well after the catwalk display began and had to push through the crowds to get to her seat in the front.
She didn't seem fazed, though, settling quickly down next to celebrity photographer Mario Testino. Fellow guests swiftly whipped out their smartphones to photograph Campbell, though on the catwalk no one batted an eyelid at the disruption.
With the Oscars clashing with London Fashion Week, the past few days have seen a dearth of big names gracing catwalk front rows. Not so at Burberry. Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal squeezed in with Grammy-winning musician Sam Smith, and all the top British models were here: Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn.
Campbell and Moss were clearly having a good time, singing and clapping along to the music as a shower of confetti rained down to wrap up the show.
Reinforcing fashion's current fling with all things retro, Burberry showed off a collection rich in patchworks of floral embroidery, bohemian ponchos and quilt-like textures.
The first look, a cozy turquoise and grass-green printed poncho laden with long suede fringes, set the tone. Then came folksy tiered, paisley dresses and hippie versions of the brand's bestselling trench coats, all tan suede and adorned with tassels.
A tan suede cape-dress, covered all over with tiers of fringes - and worn with tasseled shoe-boots, no less - won approving nods from the stars and models gathered in the front row.
Backstage, design chief Christopher Bailey said he wanted to explore "all the different crafts that we have in the British Isles."
Burberry is the biggest and most successful British brand at London Fashion Week, and it's a fairly safe bet that whatever Bailey sends down the catwalk will be copied in a few months in a store near you.
"You know, it's always delightful when something really resonates with people," Bailey said modestly of the influence he wields in fashion. "But you never really know when you do a show how people might express it or translate it."
Bailey said he was "intensely proud" that Eddie Redmayne - who had modeled for Burberry - won best actor at the Oscars on Sunday.
"Not only is he one of the most charming people that you'll ever meet, but he's one of the most talented actors that you'll ever meet as well, so I'm completely delighted for him," he said.
HUNTER EVOKES THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Hunter Original took guests to the windswept Scottish glens - via a raw industrial warehouse in south London.
The brand, which specializes in cool, outdoor-inspired clothes, installed multiple waterfalls in the dimly-lit show space and had models walk around a dark pool in parkas, rain ponchos and its signature wellington boot.
This season the rainproof boot took on stacked high heels, and also appeared in a calf-length version with a wedge platform. Those are probably not safe for hiking.
Models wore heavy-duty jackets that looked like they would suit an outing to Iceland or the Arctic, with their huge storm hoods and thick down padding. There was a lot of khaki and muddy, utilitarian earth tones. Elsewhere, mohair fur arms and a graffiti-like print injected more style.
Actress Salma Hayek attended, though it was so dark it appeared she evaded most guests' attention.
KENDALL JENNER GOES GOTH
Kendall Jenner tried a black lip for her runway look for the brand Giles.
The 19-year-old reality TV star and budding model donned gothic makeup — a ghostly pale face with dark lipstick — and an all-black ensemble for designer Giles Deacon.
Her collar and latex miniskirt outfit was one of a series of dramatic, Victorian-inspired looks at Giles, one of the last big shows of the week.
SENSUALITY AT CHRISTOPHER KANE
For some designers, seduction may be manifest in a low neckline or a thigh-high slit. But this is Christopher Kane, and his version of sensuality is nothing one would expect.
Kane, known for his creative and kooky designs, created dresses that featured sketches of nude bodies - taken from life drawing classes. The shapes appear abstract from afar, but on scrutiny one can make out a hand here, entwined limbs there.
The designer said desire was a central theme, and he was aiming for "something sexual but not grotesque."
Those sketches, with their torsos, breasts and limbs, also found their way onto ethereal tulle dresses, and the artsy theme continued on pieces featuring a woman's silhouetted profile. Elsewhere, there were sleek black suits with pops of bright red on the lapels, velvet tuxedos, and bright red and blue coats with a bold lightning pattern.
Kane was acquired in 2013 by luxury group Kering (the company behind Gucci and Saint Laurent), and recently opened his first flagship store in London. Business interests may mean that many of the pieces - especially the high-shine shoes and handbags - are made for the consumer market, but the designer was clearly keen to preserve the eccentricity that first won him acclaim.
All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.