PJs and pangender; the Burberry show everyone is talking about.
The Burberry show is so highly anticipated every season it is hard to imagine it having any more hype, but lo, the premiere “see-now, buy-now” collection is upon us, and the eyes of the world were on Christopher Bailey and team. Clearly, the decision to make the entire collection available to purchase on show day was one that was not taken lightly, and was the cause of many a heated debate amongst the fash-pack. Burberry – known for being digitally savvy – have lead the way in a new era of instant fashion.
Art and Craft
In the spirit of change, Burberry showed this landmark collection in a new venue called Makers House, a disused Foyles bookshop which, like so many London buildings, is on the brink of being converted into luxury flats. The show had all the pomp and circumstance of a classical concert, set to the music of a live orchestra and choir and models walked through a maze of sumptuous olive green carpet.
This collection was marked by its decadence, which may come as a surprise to those who assumed the quick turnaround would mean a paired back, easy showing. There were elements of soft furnishings in the details, curtain tassels sewn into coats, carpet patterned silk pyjamas and the soft pastel velvets of a Georgian drawing room. Although there wasn’t a stand-out, recurring shape in the 83 look collection there were plenty of fantastic sleeves to add to the SS17 Sleeve Hall of Fame, which is already vast in its numbers. Bailey cited Nancy Lancaster as one of the inspirations for the collection and echoes of her design tastes were translated through rich fabrics and elaborate floral prints.
“Thoughts are divine”
The real success stories of the show were the looks shown on male models, in particular a pale jade silk blouse worn over a blue and white cotton shirt. The whole collection was created whilst Bailey was under the literary spell of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando – a Vintage Classics reprint was gifted to each member of the audience – and so made it deliberately pangender, reflecting the theme of the book. This being said, there wasn’t the sort of “boys in skirts” deal we’ve come to expect from self-proclaimed gender bending collections; in fact every single male model wore some variation of a trousers/shirt/jumper/jacket combination. Maybe we’ve finally come to the stage where we accept all garments as being gender fluid, and no longer have to present this idea in such a brazen, in your face way. Military braiding, prints and ruffles were used without discrimination for both genders. What progress, to think we are entering a new era of dress; this season has seen a number of designers show men’s and women’s fashion side by side, or even not making the distinction.