The collection can be called cutting-edge for at least three reasons: last night at 7.30pm in London (8.30pm Italian time) in the new, magnificent location of Maker’s House and with an entire live orchestra as its soundtrack, Burberry had men and women parade together on the runway (and with more than a few looks for either one), all available to view live on Facebook, YouTube, WeChat and various partner sites, and, most importantly, with all items available for purchase as soon as the show was over.
83 looks and 250 articles of clothing make up what has been called the September Collection, a name that refers to the present, and not, as is the custom, to future seasons. This is a runway show open to the whole world, ‘seasonless’, bearing no reference to time, and is ‘straight-to-consumer’, immediately available online and in Burberry stores.
And what is being modelled on the catwalk is the embodiment of Englishness, in-keeping with the DNA of the most British brand there is. Drawing inspiration from Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, it brings with it the aroma of tea sipped in London’s tranquil interior spaces, and, in its tapestry-effect textiles, its heavily embroidered trench coats in the style of Admiral Lord Nelson, its Elizabethan ruches and ruffs (that are also to be found in the much sought-after accessories that will drive fashion addicts wild), its pyjama-style trousers and shirts, the Collection tells of great affection for its home crowd. Cuts are predominantly oversized, yet with unexpected skinny trousers that hark back, once again, to one of the golden ages of swinging London.
This is fashion with many layers and styles, with outfits that surprise, at first glance, but then leave you enchanted as you behold the light grace of their harmonisation, seemingly very relaxed and unstructured, and yet the fruit of devoted research that plunges its roots into the essence of a brand and a country that has always known how to bring together opposite extremes and transform them into something unique.
English eccentricity is united with tailoring craftsmanship, with a new style that combines seemingly opposing elements, formal and informal, in a quest for a modern, refined form of elegance. It is effortless in its sophistication.
Yet another interesting development is the show’s location: Maker’s House will remain open for one week, hosting exhibits and activities with free entry, along with presentations of the collections, theatrical readings, classes on the history of fashion, applied arts and all kinds of landmark events to demonstrate and discuss the mood on the runway.
Click here for the complete gallery of looks.
Alessandro Di Giacomo / Valentina Monti