British fashion brand Burberry launched its spring-summer 2016 menswear collection at the end of London Collections: Men on Monday (15 June).
As usual, the show took place in a structure specifically created for Burberry alongside The Albert Memorial and opposite the Royal Albert Hall, but because of the fine summer weather, the structure was mainly open air, surrounded by wild English flowerbeds filled with foxgloves and hazel, and peacocks roaming the grounds.
A host of stars attended the show including actor Samuel L Jackson, racing driver Lewis Hamilton, rapper Tinie Tempah, model Suki Waterhouse and Chinese actor Hu Bing.
Despite the excitement, Waterhouse, who has modelled for Burberry several times, remarked that "Backstage at Burberry is the most relaxed place you'll ever go. It's not like any other show because it's actually super chilled. We always have enough time, everyone knows what they're doing, the makeup's never too much, it's always really easy. You'd be surprised."
British musician Rhodes provided the live soundtrack to the show accompanied by a 24-piece orchestra playing specially created arrangements.
The collection was entitled Strait-Laced, chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey's nod to Burberry's celebration of British craftsmanship. "We wanted the collection to have a real formality and tradition but we also wanted the poetry as well, and we tried to do it through everything from the mixing of fabrics, so we put lace in there for poetry which is unconventional but I liked what it did. We've got such a tradition in this country of lace-making and I liked the idea of putting it with these very, very formal suits to just knock it off," he said.
Other elements prominent within the show were knitted joggers, lace-trimmed scarves and the Chelsea trench coat – a tailored, slim-fit design of the British-made original.
It was the first time that women walked the Burberry LCM catwalk, mainly sporting delicate lace dresses from the women's Spring/Summer 2016 Pre-Collection.
"You know we always work on all the collections together – the men's and women's," said Bailey. "They obviously have their own separate vocabulary but we just felt that it was the perfect show to be able to mix them in. We opened the women's collection about four weeks ago and we just started to think actually we should put them together on a runway because when we started working and putting them together they felt like they were a couple now."
When asked about the future of the brand, whose stock has fallen despite surging sales, Bailey responded, "Menswear is a huge part of our business and a huge growth category as well as men's accessories. Our outerwear keeps, our trench-coats – that's something that is at the core of our company, that we weave and make them all in Yorkshire in England as well as our scarves all made in Scotland so we've got so many different avenues as well as technology projects and music projects and fun things."