Henry Moore sculptures inspire new Burberry collection

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London (AFP) - Draw close to a Henry Moore sculpture and the seemingly smooth surface is scratched with tool marks, a marriage of contrasts that inspired Burberry's new collection unveiled Monday in London.

The score marks took on new life in the laces and delicate finishes on shirts and sweatshirts, which were showcased alongside some of Moore's large bronzes at London Fashion Week.

There were sculptural cuffs and sleeves, while traditional English knits were deconstructed to play with the shape, as designer Christopher Bailey explored the silhouettes and processes of the 20th-century Yorkshire artist.

Tinie Tempah and Naomi Campbell looked on from the front row, but this was far from the A-list dresses and variations on the classic trench coat that once characterised Burberry.

Mostly black and white, the collection had flashes of colour in indigo blue coats or trousers, or a sweatshirt print derived from the sculptor's sketches.

In an extraordinary finale, the models emerged in dozens of cropped couture capes made of everything from white feathers to black jewels, glass crystals, clear plastic, tassels, pearls and beads.

"They were a study in the shoulder -- the trenchcoat is all about the shoulder, with the gun flaps, and the shoulder was also a big thing for Moore," Bailey told reporters backstage.

He described how he spent many hours as a child in Moore's sculpture park, and relished the chance to collaborate with the foundation that protects his works.

"I put my heart into this collection," said Bailey, Burberry's creative director and chief executive.

The clothes went on sale immediately, after Burberry adopted the "see now buy now" model last year, but the capes will be displayed as part of a new Moore exhibition in central London.

- 'Making traditional feel new' -

For all that London Fashion Week plays on its reputation as a global melting pot of talent, it is also home to brands celebrate and promote their British heritage, particularly to US and Japanese clients.

Pringle of Scotland, a 200-year-old brand known for its knitwear, reworked the tradition of wrapping tartan to create luxurious tops and dresses tied, buttoned or pinned with oversized kilt pins.

The classic argyle diamond pattern, once the staple of golfers, returned in multicoloured cropped jumpers, layered over hooded, sportswear-style tops or ribbed orange or blue clingy dresses.

At another iconic British label, Mulberry, creative director Johnny Coca took inspiration from the equestrian-tinged styles of English country dress.

Skirts were cut as if to ride side-saddle, and dresses were made from the kind of quilts used to keep horses warm in their stables at night.

There were oversized tweed jackets, pinstripe blouses and hat box-style handbags, and heavy floral embroidery reminiscent of the wallpaper and sofas of country hotels.

"It's about making something traditional feel new. Taking these archetypal British styles, and making them feel right for today," said Coca.

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