London Fashion Week Day 4 Burberry Prorsum, Erdem to McQ!
Sometimes, Anna Wintour smiles. It doesn’t happen often in public, but today I witnessed this rare event at Christopher Kane’s fall/winter presentation. The fashion wunderkind presented an exceptional collection that fused elements of goth with punk in the most glamorous ways possible. Leather detailing, sheer florals, pinstriped fur and embroidered dresses were powerful but sophisticated. After the finale, I witnessed Anna (and entourage) heading backstage, looking positively giddy. Also spotted in the front row? Central Saint Martins teacher, Louise Wilson, who is terrifying in person. (Not familiar? You can read up on her in the April issue of ELLE Canada. Hint: star pupil Thomas Tait told us: “She’ll rip you a new asshole.” He meant it as a compliment! Honest!)
Post Kane, I headed to see Canadian designers
Mark Fast. Neither disappointed: Erdem’s ladies-who-lunch silhouettes, mixed with watercolour prints, embroidered florals and unexpected pops of tweed were praised by the fashion set like Derek Blasberg, who tweeted “Erdem’s show was prim, perfect elegance. So chic it made me want better posture, more manners and a sex change.” While there were rumours that
Kate Middleton would be appearing, that didn’t pan out. But I finally got my star power moment at Mark Fast, where Kanye West was chilling front row. And I mean chilling. The usually vicious London paps paid very little attention to the rapper, proving once again that the star system across the pond is bizarro world.
Mark Fast’s grungy ’90s-inspired show was the polar opposite of Erdem, but it was great. The knit-master showed body con cut out mini’s, chunky cardi’s and beaded crochet numbers. After the show, I headed backstage where Kanye was congratulating Fast. Fast admitted that he recently lost weight—to the tune of 50 pounds. Kanye, on the other hand, has filled out a bit lately, leading some to speculate that he’s stress eating before presenting his collection in Paris.
The next show on the roster was
Burberry Prorsum at Hyde Park, and what a spectacle. The stacked front row included Rosie Huntington Whiteley (who is so good-looking it’s unfair)
My Week with Marilyn’s Eddie Redmayne, Alexa Chung and Kate Bosworth. Christopher Bailey opened the show with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s song
River as top models, including ELLE Canada cover girl
Herieth Paul, walked in tweed, velvet, quilted and tartan trenches. Then, there was a roar of thunder through the show space. Suddenly, it started raining down the windows (but nowhere else in London) leading the audience to gasp and applaud. Finally, the song
To Build a Home by the Cinematic Orchestra started to play, and as ticker tape rain fell, models came out under umbrellas. It was a wonder to see, and made all the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I suddenly felt surprisingly weepy—but that’s the thing about great art. It has a way of evoking emotion when you least expect it.
I thought nothing could top the Burberry experience, but I was wrong. Sarah Burton presented the first McQ show in London to a very intimate audience. The runway was covered in gold leaves and the models, who were wearing Tartan and velvet military coats and tulle dresses with velvet overlay in leaf motifs, walked the catwalk to ethereal music. Then, a model clad all in white, stopped dramatically in the middle of the runway until she was certain she had the full attention of everyone in the room. There was a spotlight on her as leaves began raining down from the ceiling. She turned slowly and dug through the leaves until she found a string. She started pulling the string, and walked towards the back of the house. Suddenly, a forest was revealed at the end of the runway with a cabin nestled between the (real!) trees. It was so beautiful and theatrical and so McQueen. The awestruck audience rewarded Sarah Burton’s bow with wild applause, and we were all asked to leave through the forest. As we walked out, I heard one editor say, “That was intense!” and others added “Wasn’t that amazing?” Truthfully, it was the closest to high fashion that I had seen at London Fashion Week.
One last fashion week blind item before I pack my suitcase:
What famous street style couple was caught having a lovers tiff in the lobby of the May Fair Hotel?