LONDON (AP) — They say fashion is a kind of make-believe — role-playing, if you will.
Luxury fashion designers Burberry and Tom Ford have conjured up completely different images of what makes a stylish man for their new season menswear designs. While Burberry models donned colorful hats and soft flowing scarves, and looked like bookish artists, Ford's men were cowboys through-and-through in fitted jeans, boots and biker jackets.
The two labels were showing Tuesday for London's menswear fashion week, which features trendy young designers alongside the British capital's famed traditional tailoring houses.
Burberry — Britain's most successful fashion label and leader in both men's and women's wear — drew a large crowd to its display, staged in a glass marquee in Hyde Park. The outfits came in arty prints and a rainbow of pretty colors, with everything from shades of turquoise and sea green to mustard, purple and pink.
Designer Christopher Bailey said the collection was inspired by antique English book covers and writers: Models carried oversized notebooks under their arms.
Bailey said he believed men enjoy fashion just as much as women.
"I think a guy shops in a slightly different way to a woman, but I think guys absolutely enjoy the aesthetic of clothes, as well as the whole idea of what fashion is," he said.
Ford looked to Santa Fe and America's West — where the designer spent his early years — for inspiration.
Best known for his sleek men's suits, he said he was branching out to casual wear with jeans, sporty jackets and sneakers. The result was a collection featuring very little suiting, filled instead with suede and leather fringed jackets, cowboy boots and head-to-toe denim outfits.
Ford did not stage a catwalk, choosing rather to host editors in a private show at his London office.