by CHIOMA NNADI
The following review was written about the brand’s previous Fall 2016 show.
Burberry CEO and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey always has his ear to the ground for new music, and he invited British up-and-comer Jake Bugg to perform at the brand’s show in London today. In keeping with the tone of the men’s presentation in January, there was a distinctly David Bowie vibe to the clothes, and models, male and female, had their faces sprinkled with Ziggy Stardust–style glitter. Bailey described the new collection as a patchwork of his favorite things, and the compilation of ’70s glam-rock motifs, military tailoring, and mixed-media bohemia had a soulful English eclecticism about it. Edie Campbell, a model whose whole being seems to vibrate London-girl cool, opened the show with a look that spoke to that mix—a thigh-skimming jacquard dress, patterned tights, and a regimental navy wool coat with tons of attitude that grazed the edge of rubber-soled patchwork python boots.
A groovy tomboy feeling came through most strongly in the outerwear, and each overcoat had its own quirky twist, like an oversize shearling coat replete with multicolored python piping and a khaki green field jacket with jumbo golden hardware reminiscent of the Queen’s Guard. Those slightly mannish proportions worked nicely with the sweeter, romantic ideas in the collection, such as the sequined minis covered with swirly ’70s wallpaper patterns and the print-on-print maxi dresses. With its dinky ladylike shape, wide utilitarian strap, and shiny, extra-large buckle, the label’s new patchwork handbag seemed to speak to the best of both worlds and had a kooky maximalism that felt right for now.
And on the topic of right now, it’s been a matter of weeks since the label announced it would be making shows direct-to-consumer in September. Burberry has been among the first in the industry to embrace the Internet age with open arms, optimizing its global reach via all the digital channels at its disposal—live-stream, Snapchat, and an important partnership with Apple—and the brand now seems more than equipped to navigate the change. Suki Waterhouse, who sat front row at the show, clearly couldn’t wait to get her hands on the collection and was already wearing a pair of the new studded ankle boots. Generating that level of excitement with shoppers will be the next big step come fall.