Above: Luke Prichard, lead-singer from The Kooks, and Twiggy. Photos: Alize Morand.
On Tuesday, I braved the typical London rain to go to Chelsea College of Art & Design – not to go back to my university, but because a certain gold metal card had been hand-delivered to me before: an invitation for the Burberry show.
The rain issue was soon solved by adorable staff holding umbrellas with the Burberry check, although I could have done with a trenchcoat too. It seems that the house had ordered the weather in fact, which was oh-so-British. And this feeling was confirmed when I came inside of the tent, to face a wall covered with a screen on which rain was projected. You sense the atmosphere.
The show was exclusive, but still more people were standing than seating – luckily I was seated – and the first few rows were full of celebrities. Burberry apparently chose them for their ‘Britishness’. From the casts of Skins, Harry Potter, Twilight to members of rock bands The Kooks or One Night Only, to models Erin O’Connor, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and sixties icon Twiggy. There were obviously fashion superstars Carine Roitfeld, Anna Wintour, Natalie Massenet, Sir Philip Greene, and Hollywood was represented by Kate Hudson, Claire Danes and Mary-Kate Olsen. But I kept wondering where was Emma Watson, the face of the brand and star of last season’s show, especially since her brother was present.
So packed that Harry Potter’s star Bonny Wright was sat third row, model Poppy Delevigne was second row, and *oh shock* Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, who looked stunning in a taupe cashmere Burberry trench, was moved second row after the girlfriend of one of the members of the Kooks decided to join last minute. The staff & photographers apparently did not appreciate that she was sitting on his knees, front-row, with a huge fur coat, therefore halfway on the catwalk!
Gossip aside, the show was a great display of Burberry’s understated British elegance and craftsmanship, with a focus on outerwear, and outdoors, just like past seasons’ ad campaigns. The main focus was a contrast between voluminous fur and shearling jackets over feminine silk dresses with delicate ruching. All felt like an ode to the fall season, in particular with the choice of fabrics and tones.
The collection had great consistency overall and a strong vision with a powerful feel, but was also set in several parts. First, an obsession with aviation: utilitarian green, khaki and mustard sheepskin parkas and mid-lengths dresses. Then, a sexy officer look with tailored navy blue and brown military blazers and trenchcoats worn on tights without skirts. Finally, more feminine jewel colours: burgundy, fuschia and cream, with plenty of fur.
The accessories played a huge part in the collection, with most girls wearing sexy leather and snakeskin thigh-high stiletto boots. As for the bags, they might be next season’s it-bags, which would be quite new for Burberry, because the studded suede, leather, and fur purses caught the light – and my eye – more then anything else in the show.
But where the house was truly innovative and clever, was in the marketing of the event. Not only was the show the unmissable event of London Fashion Week, the only one that Madame Wintour flew for, but it was also shared with the rest of the world. Indeed, fashion experts in major fashion capitals were invited to a private 3D live screening of the event, while fashionistas all over the world could stream it live on Burberry’s website. Actually, if you haven’t yet, I suggest you take a look here now. But beware not to fall in love with the collection, as some pieces are already on sale, but only for 24h now!