Burberry is not adapting to the rapidly changing demands of the digital age. Burberry is itself morphing the competitive fashion terrain and dictating to its competitors a case and point success story of how to stay relevant today through clever use of an immersive experience and blending the art and the commercial. Burberry does not solely rely on its heritage and tradition – a cliché for so many luxury labels – it additionally responds to the fluctuating needs of its loyal consumer base. One of those demands is delivering a see-now buy now collection, which was yet again implemented in this February collection. Like the previous 2 seasons, Burberry invites consumers to watch the livestream show and buy straight off the runway for the spring summer season.
Shown yet again in the Maker’s House in the heart of bustling Soho, a carved out building once a Foyle’s bookstore, Burberry welcomed fashion press, buyers, and A-list celebrities including Anna Wintour, Naomi Campbell, and Penelope Cruz into the world of Henry Moore – an evening melding together the worlds of fashion and art. Original bronze sculptures by the renowned artist were scattered around the hall. Christopher Bailey said his fascination of Moore began at an early age due to sculptures close to his home in Yorkshire. Moore’s influence as a person, his creative process and his most famous sculptures were directly reflected into each piece shown on the runway resulting in a powerful and dignified show celebrating one of Britain’s greatest artists and one of Britain’s greatest brands.
The nagging question of is fashion art festered in the minds of many when directly confronted with the medium of sculpture and clothes. A straightforward answer may never really come about but maybe a different question is more important: Why should fashion and art be one and the same? As we witnessed, both stood proud and should be appreciated in their own qualities. Perhaps though -fashion can only exist when art meets clothes? … A sartorial explosion when two world’s collide!
Moore’s influences were stitched into each look, but were most prominent with the silhouette shaping, rich texture and the bold emphasis of the shoulders. What makes Moore’s sculptures distinct are the fluid smooth curves and the subtle distortion of body parts. For example, a shoulder can be drooped to the waist which was reflected in the new interpretation of the classic Trench. The ease of curvature played beautifully for the body flattering both men and women.
A stylish, simple and effective ready to wear collection with pieces surely to be snatched up from the loyal base of Burberry fans for an effortlessly sophisticated and cool look. I personally have my eye on the chunky creme knitwear casually sliding off the shoulder and those fantastic boots – mini sculptures in their own right inspired directly from “Oval with Points”.
But the pinnacle of the evening was surely the grand finale with 80 models covering their ready to wear outfit with an armour of capes. Couture capes that is. Some pieces drew inspiration from Elizabethan times, knights of the round table, Joan of Arc and were the finest output of British couture. For some individual capes, precise details required 600 hours to create. Even for a single moment, the finale of capes – armour ready for battle- took away the breath of any nay-sayer denying art is not fashion… well of course it can be! Combining the casual luxury and uncomplicated ease of the 21st century modern consumer (fulfilling commercial demands) and the delicacy of couture (satisfying the quest for innovation and creativity) Burberry’s February collection was definitely one of Bailey’s best.
The Burberry Maker’s House is open to the public until February 27th
*All photos take by Nina Van Volkinburg – please reference if used.