Harry Styles, Bradley Cooper front row at Burberry

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

LONDON (AP) — Harry Styles, Bradley Cooper and Naomie Harris led an all-star front row Monday at Burberry Prorsum's runway show, a display featuring luxurious painted jackets and thick wool blankets.

The label — Britain's most successful fashion house — typically puts on London Fashion Week's glitziest show in a marquee in Hyde Park, and the front row VIPs often threaten to upstage the clothes. On Monday all eyes were on Cooper as he squeezed in next to U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour to support his girlfriend, model Suki Waterhouse, while nearby singer Tinie Tempah sat with Styles and Harris.

"It was absolutely beautiful," said Harris, who turned heads in "Skyfall," the recent James Bond blockbuster. "So vibrant, classic with such a modern twist, and that's what I love, because I'm personally quite classic in my taste but always wanting to jazz it up with something modern as well."

Harris was craving one particular piece, a "painter coat" with color prints.

"If I had that in my wardrobe, I'd definitely wear it on the red carpet," she said.

For the coming autumn and winter, the label's design chief Christopher Bailey offered up dozens of new variations of Burberry's bestselling trench coat. The standout styles were in putty-colored leather, hand-painted with floral designs.

There was plenty more warm outerwear to choose from, including painted shearling jackets, blanket coats and wool ponchos in bold geometric prints, and heavy blanket scarves embroidered with initials — when customers buy those scarves, they are encouraged to have their own initials added.

That personal touch and emphasis on individual craftsmanship is something that Bailey has been featuring for a few seasons now, as part of a push to give Burberry a niche above other luxury brands. That attention comes at a hefty price: A sheepskin trench coat straight from the runway could set you back 6,000 pounds (US$10,000.)

Bailey said after the show that he wanted the mood of the collection to convey soft femininity and romance, but not without some sex appeal thrown in. He was referring to some of the flowing floral dresses, which look demure with their calf-length hems but have slits that show quite a bit of leg as the wearer walks.

"I wanted it to be very sophisticated, and with a slight nuance of sexiness," he told The Associated Press backstage, as celebrities dropped in to hug and congratulate him.

Among them was Styles, who turned up wearing a dark green suede jacket and black skinny trousers. The singer arrived and left silently, only stopping for a few photos and declining interviews.

Many of the designs shown Monday were similar to Bailey's menswear collection shown last month, and a few male models wearing clothes from that collection were there to break up the all-female catwalk. That duplication is perhaps inevitable, given the designer's increasingly packed work schedule. Unusually for a top fashion label, Bailey is due to take on the dual roles of creative director and CEO, after Angela Ahrendts announced she was leaving for a senior role at computer maker Apple.

Burberry likes to incorporate live music into its fashion show for maximum impact, and curtains parted halfway through for singer Paloma Faith to belt out a ballad. That wasn't perfectly received, with some guests fidgeting as she struggled to hit the high notes.

Other familiar faces on the front row included movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, Topshop boss Philip Green, TV presenter Cat Deeley and celebrity photographer Mario Testino.


Associated Press writer Gregory Katz contributed to this story.


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