Burberry's L.A. Fashion Show Sports an Exclusive Rodeo Drive Collection
Christopher Bailey's fall show direct from London was themed "Patchwork, Pattern and Prints" — and its '60s and '70s influences seemed utterly L.A.-centric.
When guests ascended up to the Griffith Park Observatory for Burberry's London in L.A. fall fashion show — which debuted in London in February — many decked out in Burberry trench coats and finery — they were each greeted with a Burberry cashmere plaid scarf on their bleacher seats. What's more, every single one — in hues varying from camel and red, to pink with black, to red with black, and more — were monogrammed with the recipients' initials. Those scarves run around $435 — a very generous gift, indeed, and a hint of what was to come: luxury, unique color, combos, print and tradition mixed with the unexpected.
Christopher Bailey hasn't stuck with traditional Burberry plaid in his Prorsum (runway) line for many a season — he's expanded into fine lace trench coats and dresses, leather trenches and jackets, London Underground–map prints, florals, fur and patchwork. Fall 2015 is an explosion of color and print — and fringe, from fringed ponchos to fringed boots to new suede fringe tote bags (in navy, camel, peach, fuchsia, green, etc., now in the Rodeo Drive store). There was even suede on jackets and one amazing looking sienna-colored trench coat with full fringe swinging down the runway to the beat of the live British acts performing there. If only more designers used live bands and singer-songwriters for shows: It adds an element of aural excitement, a depth of sound and a vehicle for the models to really move with. It ups the drama level considerably.
Bailey resurrected the wool poncho — for men and for women (there were a number of menswear looks on the runway, with Burberry red-carpet regulars Aaron Paul and Ryan Seacrest checking them out) which came back for spring 2015 as part of the '70s zeitgeist — but he constructed them more like blankets and fringed them in thicker strips than the flyaway stringy fringe featured on dresses and vests.
The eyewear had a very new look, as well. The last few years have all been about giant frames, big spherical ones, cat eyes and rectangular cuts; these unisex glasses were John Lennon in the '60s granny style, but with plastic frames in varied hues. The look really worked with the ponchos and swingy chiffon and silk dresses, and the messy bed-head hair on the models.
Speaking of models, many of the Brit gang were flown over, including curly-haired model-of-the-moment Mica Arganaraz (whose haircut is the perfect messy/curly shag with fringe), and then the stars of the current Burberry ad campaign: Jourdan Dunn and Naomi Campbell. When Campbell closed the show (well, sort of — before James Corden, at least), she strutted more slowly than the rest of the gang (she's always been known for her brisk walk), with the crowd cheering for the comeback (how many is this?) of the Brit super-superdiva.
While a lot of the European fall shows went Victorian and away from Boho, Bailey managed to mix up the two, using mirror embroidery on high-necked chiffon gowns and on the men's looks as well. A stalwart of the hippie Indian-inspired '70s, here it was posh and fine, contrasting Bohemian with luxury.
Several stars have worn the new Burberry ombre chiffon gowns in blush colors on the red carpet, as Bailey has just started turning out really novel evening wear — and this show really showed it off. The very last group of gowns was all in shades of red and wine, and the models donned Burberry mismatched wool plaid fringe scarves over their necks. A practical idea for gowns on chilly nights, as disparate as the prints and fabrics looked, making it all the more interesting. Those gowns will be exclusives to the Rodeo Drive boutique — no doubt the stylists in the audience, including Penny Lovell, Petra Flannery and Elizabeth Saltzman — paid close attention.
"It's Coachella all over again," said one fashionista, observing the runway and the crowd. Sure, there were lots of hippie flower children — but by way of the Met Ball — this event conveniently positioned between those two fashion landmarks. And given that these two moments have become among the most influential fashion events of the year off the runway — creating a mashup of two seemingly contrasting aesthetics — this was like a musical track layering rave EDM dance beats over beautiful chords and vocals.
In other words: utterly of the moment.