Metallic leather, shiny satin and foil-like fabrics in rainbow colours dazzled on the catwalk at Burberry Prorsum Monday, reinforcing a trend that already saw lashings of sequins and space-age style designs earlier in London Fashion Week.
Burberry, which typically puts on the most extravagant and celebrity-studded display during the week-long style extravaganza, went for flamboyant luxury for its latest spring collection. The catwalk was packed with iridescent swimsuits, metallic leather trench coats and satin corsets, and the palette was that of precious metals and gemstones: Gold, silver, emerald, turquoise and ruby.
"I wanted to do a collection that makes people smile," creative director Christopher Bailey said after the show. "I want it to be joyous, a bit sassier and sexier."
The show's front row guests included boy band One Direction's Harry Styles, burlesque actress Dita von Teese, "Slumdog Millionaire" star Dev Patel and tennis player Andy Murray.
Bailey opened with a structured white silk cape draped over a rose gold bodysuit with fine ruching.
Coats — especially Burberry's signature trench coats — featured prominently, but there was also a notable move toward capes and a puffy, button-less cocoon jacket shape.
Standout variations on the cape included one in silver leather, draped over an emerald shift dress, and another in clear orange plastic trimmed with python leather.
The repeated pairings of capes with corsets was inspired by early 1900s photos from the Burberry archive, Bailey said.
Meanwhile, trench coats were reimagined in a luxurious gold lace, a hot pink-to-red ombre, and in the finale, a rainbow of metallic textured leather in shiny fuchsia, purple, cobalt and bronze.
That same shiny colored leather was seen on the bags, too, paired with matching shades of clear plastic.
Burberry's Bailey wasn't the only one bit by the shiny, metallic bug. Holographic material and full-on sequined party dresses appeared at Jonathan Saunders, Topshop Unique had silver paired with white organza, and Preen's show featured metallic lace.
Scottish heritage brand Pringle also featured plastic details, though it was only a nod. The brand, best known for its fine argyle knits, updated frumpy '50s crew neck twinsets with vibrant colours like jade and canary yellow, and embellished them with geometric plastic beading.
Pringle, which presented its collection in a hotel room instead of on a catwalk, also featured a host of pretty sorbet shades, the other trend for next season. Knits and jackets were made in soothing hues of dove grey, lilac, pale lemon and powder pink.
Also showing on Day Four were Christopher Kane, Erdem and Peter Pilotto. The action will be winding down on Tuesday, the last day of womens' wear previews at the fashion week.