LONDON — The colors are bright and brash, and the fabrics as shiny and enticing as candy foil wrappers. Luxury label Burberry Prorsum dazzled its catwalk audience Monday with a show that celebrated decadence — in marked contrast to news of financial trouble at the fashion giant.
Creative director Christopher Bailey packed in iridescent body suits, space-age plastic capes, satin corsets and feather dresses, and in the finale sent his models marching out in a magnificent rainbow of metallic trench coats.
"Fashion is also about entertainment," Bailey said backstage after the show. "I wanted to do a collection that makes people smile. I want it to be joyous, a bit sassier and sexier."
The show, always one of the hottest tickets at London Fashion Week, drew "Slumdog Millionaire" actor Dev Patel, boy band One Direction's Harry Styles, burlesque actress Dita von Teese and tennis star Andy Murray to its front row.
Burberry, best known for its classic camel trench coats, needed the dose of cheerfulness more than ever. In a surprise profit warning that rocked the luxury goods sector last week, the fashion house said sales have slumped and profits for the year would be at the lower end of market expectations.
The news sent Burberry's shares tumbling, and spread fears that the economic slowdown in emerging markets like China — a major retail focus at Burberry — would hit luxury retailers hard.
"There are many, many challenges out there, but I've always felt that ... you need to have a directional approach to design," Bailey said. "You have to be optimistic and think long term."