When was the last time you just had to wear a cardigan? It's been a while, but the piece most associated with middle-aged professorial types and Stepford twin sets, has had a fashion reboot — along with all other manner of knitwear.
In its latest collection and second See Now Buy Now show, Burberry showed a lineup of 78 looks inspired by the work of iconic Yorkshire-born sculptor Henry Moore. Against a backdrop of the artist's sculptures specially flown in for the occasion (the show space, Makers House, will double as an exhibition of more than 40 of Moore's work), models walked the runway in cashmere cable knits that had been reworked every which way as asymmetrical dresses, jumpers, cardigans, skirts, jackets and capelets, collaged with contrasting ribbed knit patterns.
Look at this idea as a natural progression and a much-needed alternative from the ubiquitous deconstructed fashion shirt, which has been so popular on the runway and street style circuit this year. The knits in this collection gave you the fashion, but with practicality. A re-worked knit layered over a turtleneck has a lot more appeal in late February than a slashed and twisted cotton shirt worn off the shoulders (been there, done that, and was cold.)
Though to be clear, the collection had plenty of fresh takes on shirting too — here, with a distinctly British aesthetic through details like broderie anglais ruffles, full romantic sleeves, pintucks, and macramé trim.
Taking a cue from Moore's bronze forms and drawings, Christopher Bailey used the collection as a study in process, shape and texture ending the show with a grand finale of 78 couture capes, displaying show-stopping craftsmanship, all available for special order and viewing as part of the Burberry - Moore exhibition currently up at Makers House. The complete collection is on sale now.
Christopher Kane has also made a portion of his new collection, specifically a capsule of trainers and handbags, available in stores this week. And like Bailey, he wanted to explore the ritual and process of making.
Kane mined a different kind of history for his dresses and skirt suits (Neo-Classical silk damasks from 1750.) And then he took those historical references and pushed them into the future with angular shapes and spacey accessories including stilettos embellished with sponges of the kitchen sink variety and tech-y sneakers.
Oh, and the Crocs are back! This time, they're lined in fur.
But of all his technically impressive looks — the holographic ribbed knits, the asymmetrical dresses embellished with glittery corsages — it was the knitwear that stood out the most. He's brought the cardigan back and made it cool again in an easy, oversized shape worn nonchalantly over slip dresses and lace skirts. We never knew we needed a metallic iridescent one until now.