Mycelium, the buzzy mushroom alternative to leather, was on Burton’s mind as a theme, and sewn or woven into some of her autumn-winter looks. But none of it was used to make the clothes. The successor to Lee Alexander McQueen told journalists after the show that she’s still experimenting with sustainable mushroom leather and other alternatives, sticking to the real thing for now.
Burton opened with an asymmetrical bustier dress in black leather, interspersing other black looks with pops of neon yellow, green, red, orange and blue. There were white double-breasted suits with a spray-paint effect in yellow and black, and another in the same vein done in red, harkening back to McQueen’s famous spring 1999 show in which model Shalom Harlow’s dress was adorned with paint dispensed from moving robots.
AP photo Leanne Italie
As for mycelium, Burton was inspired by the bright colors of actual mushrooms she was looking at one day. Mycelium is the primary “plant” portion of a mushroom comprised of thousands of delicate, interwoven filaments with cells that offer an immune response for the fungi.
The collection, she said in her show notes, was inspired by the idea of community, that mycelium specifically and nature overall is “a community that is far, far older than we are.”
Backstage, Burton added that she really loves “the way that the trees talk to each other and they sort of heal each other.” Given two years of pandemic, she said, “that seems more important than ever” to the humans who walk among them. Those humans included Letitia Wright among her guests on the front row.
My appreciation to AP for the article and photo.