Ruffles, Stripes and Shearling: First ever Burberry Runway-to-Retail Collection
If you’ve been keeping up to date with Fashion Month, you’ll know that the industry is on the cusp of something wonderful. New York and London brought to our attention the ‘See Now, Buy Now’ collection, where each and every runway look becomes completely shoppable right after the show. Designers including Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren took this on in the Big Apple, whilst Topshop and Burberry explored the seasonless collection over in London. Being able to shop a collection six months in advance completely transforms the way we look at fashion and of course, fashion month.
Ever the innovator, Burberry’s Christopher Bailey swapped the brand’s usual venue in Kensington Gardens for the much more intimate Makers House, a pop up exhibition which ran following the show to allow fans and followers to indulge in the creativity and inspiration involved in the new collection. Long time supporters and muses of Bailey including Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, Lily James, Clara Paget and Alexa Chung all came out in force to see this new format. The show was also live streamed and immediately shoppable after to over 100 countries and also in the Regent Street flagship store. It seems Bailey left no stone unturned when developing this concept, and rightly so, given that pieces are already selling out.
The collection itself was refreshing yet still carried Burberry’s heritage aesthetic. Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Biography, Bailey touched on gender fluidity in the pieces which was fitting since the collection was a combination of both men’s and womenswear – another first for the brand. Print inspiration came from Nancy Lancaster’s interiors and stately gardens, adding a regal edge to languid silk pyjama suiting and boho 2.0 dresses and skirts. It was also the turn of the elegant sweater, seen on both men and women with ruff collars and statement cuffs. The ruffle was the first of the consistent themes noted throughout the collection, ranging from soft and light to a traditional stiff Elizabethan ruff.
An extravagant texture clash came in the form of decorated ceremonial jackets, our favourite was a deep burgundy with a striped untucked shirt layered over a smudged floral skirt. The layers are beautifully tamed with a studded belt around the waist which still defines the silhouette without being totally cinched in. This is key considering the themes of the show, and reminds us that the look is still feminine without being overtly so. This was also seen in a cropped black sweater with exaggerated sleeve belted over a pale gold semi sheer midi dress. The pyjama suiting was executed exceptionally well in contrasting prints and the stripe over stripe layering in different hues added an extra dimension, particularly in the silk over cotton examples.
Of course, one of Burberry’s shining lights is its outerwear and this season was no different. Their signature trench is more fluid, slightly oversized and even a shorter version with a waterfall front, whilst printed silk robes reigned supreme as the lightweight cover up to be seen in now and in six months time. Modelled by stunning FROWer Lily James, we’ll be shopping this look right now thank you. The khaki shacket also returns for both men and women, ideal for festivals, workwear or strolling the gardens of a stately home. Another Burberry star is, as always, the shearling jacket – this time oversized with a statement cuff and equally as desirable now heading into colder months as it will be in early Spring.
The show confirmed for us once again why we love Burberry and why Christopher Bailey’s vision for the brand is unwavering, bringing the future into the present and keeping Burberry right at the forefront of it. The ‘See Now, Buy Now’ philosophy has us thinking about Spring right now, but we’re not complaining, however it will be interesting to see how the collection does going into the season after such an incredible reception. Until then, we’ll be at Regent Street indulging in the new way to shop..