LFW AW17: Burberry

IT was easy to find the Burberry show at Maker’s House in Soho last night, one simply had to follow the sound of screams as young girls clamored to see the A-listers such as Penelope Cruz, Naomi Campbell, Tinie Tempah and Chinese teen-girl crush Kris Wu arriving for the show. Once inside the much calmer, and extremely large, gallery-style space of Maker’s House the next challenge was to find one’s seat in a building snakes and curves but is so long and narrow that almost everyone was granted the honour of being front row.
Burberry February 2017 Collection - Look 78
Upon working one’s way through the maze, the walls covered with posters of Henry Moore exhibitions from around the world and the genuine Henry Moore sculptures littered around the show space hinted at the theme that was to come. Indeed, this was the largest assembly ever of Moore pieces – no small undertaking.
Burberry February 2017 Collection - Look 63
Live music is always a big part of a Burberry show and as the lights dimmed for show time guests were treated to an earth-shattering performance by Christopher Bailey’s latest musical discovery, Anna Calvi, along with her band and members of the Heritage Orchestra & Choir.
Burberry February 2017 Collection - Look 48
As models including stars from Burberry’s latest campaign including Amber Witcomb, Elfie Reigate, Ella King, Myles Dominique, Nora Attal and Tom Fool made their way along the catwalk it became clear what the Moore sculptures were hinting to: that this season Christopher Bailey was in a very organic and pastoral frame of mind. Gone were the extravagant metallics and prints seen in previous collections, this was a very pared-back palette of white, navy and black, focusing on texture, shape, craftsmanship and a certain innocence.
Burberry February 2017 Collection - Look 43
Navy blue overalls inspired by Moore’s own apron and asymmetric cable-knit sweaters paired with Edwardian style blouses or lace dresses were a Glass favourite. The Trench – always a Burberry staple – was given a more traditional gabardine (the material invented and patented by Thomas Burberry) texture but with a looser, more modern cut and the leather used in the small attaché cases that the models carried was re-worked to resemble the same fabric.
Burberry February 2017 Collection - Look 36
The finale brought an unexpected twist however, in the form of “couture”-like capes of every conceivable variation added to each look; one composed entirely of chandelier-like crystals, another of ruffled clear PVC, one made of a solid sheet of brass, another composed of raffia and seashells. Of the 75 capes, all were extraordinary and no two were the same.
Burberry February 2017 Collection - Look 1
In an unprecedented move, the entire collection, the capes, the sculptures, an extensive exhibition of Henry Moore’s work tools, sketches and models and Christopher Bailey’s sketches for the collection are all on display to the public for the next week until February 27. Along with the exhibition there will also be free workshops on textile design, wax sculpting, life drawing, wood block printing and textile printmaking as well as a complimentary photo booth in a recreation of Moore’s conservatory and a mesmerising virtual reality tour of Moore’s studio and native countryside.
This is quite possibly the most immersive experience into a collection any brand has ever endeavoured to achieve and one must applaud Burberry for thinking so far outside of the box that there is no box. It is an inclusive, immersive, deeply personal insight into the thinking of the designer, the likes of which have never been seen before.
by Nicola Kavanagh
Images courtesy of Burberry

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