The Experience of Burberry
When a fashion show is not just about showing the clothes but in an overall experience, encompassing sight, sound, smell and taste, the memory can stay with you for a lifetime. Burberry have the ability to create an experience that you won’t forget. From the hand-delivered invitations, so beautiful in design and quality, to the email from Christopher Bailey a few hours before the show, every detail was thought of before, during and after the show, in what I like to refer to as “The Experience of Burberry”.
A live performance by British musician Rhodes, playing “Vienna”, “Breathe”, “Close Your Eyes” and “I Put A Spell On You”, accompanied by a 24-piece orchestra conducted by Joe Duddell, was exquisite, with arrangements created exclusively for the show. In previous seasons, I had covered the show from Australia and been moved to tears at the beauty from simply watching online. The live music would give me that extra something that resonated with my romantic mind. With this season my first Burberry show where I was able to be there in person, I was more than a little excited to be attending. When the performance is so powerful musically and you are combining it with an amazing setting alongside a beautiful collection, your experience is taken to a level you can’t even imagine.
Set in a custom-built venue in London’s Kensington Gardens, we were surrounded by wild English flowerbeds filled with seasonal buds such as foxgloves and hazel, making it feel like the most wonderful garden party. There was live music and a feeling of anticipation in the air for what we were all about to see. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. Everyone was dressed beautifully and everywhere you looked, you could see happiness and bright eyes. I wanted to live my life in this setting!
We were ushered into the space where we were to see the show, with bird sounds filling the air and the plush carpet under foot, further adding to the luxurious feel. The much admired front row guests were arriving with Samuel L. Jackson, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sam Claflin, John Boyega, Josh Whitehouse (who I picked as one of my best dressed for the day), Hu Bing, David Gandy, Masahiro Motoki, Tinie Tempah, Mario Testino and Lewis Hamilton, amongst many others there.
The music began and we were treated to a beautiful performance and showing of the collection. The colour palette was stunning. Black, navy, charcoal, pale grey, brown, stone and white were prominent with accents of turquoise, red and mustard. The cloth was luxurious and exquisite, with the cotton lace a highlight across the collection. English wool/mohair tailoring cloth, wool/silk tailoring cloth, fine cotton tailoring cloth, Burberry gabardine, double-faced cashmere and knitted cashmere were shown in different looks.
A new tailored slim fit designed, called The Chelsea, was introduced in trench coats and suiting. Lace shirts, double-faced cashmere topcoats, cashmere knitted joggers, lightweight down jackets, and light wool/silk trench coats were filling my vision, and my mind was delighted. Combined with the beautiful colour palette, I at times felt overwhelmed by what I was seeing.
I’ve been working almost daily with eyewear over the past year and I thought the square tortoiseshell sunglasses were a wonderful preview of the eyewear collection for Spring Summer 2016. The ochre tortoiseshell flush acetate front and uniform thick temples looked magical with black lenses, with the traditional double pin hinges visible on the front and temples and a polished metallic Burberry logo on the temples. The strong look worked well with the more feminine feel of the lace. The balance was just right. Another wonderful detail featured were the bug tie pins. How I loved these!
One of my favourite pieces from the collection is the graphic print trench coat. I love this! What a wonderful trench coat. The artwork is hand-painted in the Burberry studio and silk-screen printed onto the crisp and lightweight silk-wool blend fabric. Crafted in Italy, the design is cut for a streamlined fit. The flow of the fabric was simply beautiful as the model walked and at the turn the trench coat almost went into slow motion, as if to emphasise the perfection of the design, as it flared out at the hem. Combined with the lace detail underneath, it is a standout. This overall look is a delight, I had goosebumps when I saw it.
The show finishing was not the end of the experience. We were served summer cocktails and champagne from Thomas’s – Burberry’s new all-day café within its Regent Street flagship – whilst British musicians Keston Cobblers Club, played live on the lawn. It really was a delight! Everyone was talking of how wonderful the show was and the beautiful afternoon we were having.
If you are like me, you see something you like and want it as soon as you can. For those who cannot wait and want looks from the runway now, you can pre-order selected coats and accessories until 22 June and will receive them two months earlier than everyone else. The items can be personalised with a metal nameplate which makes each piece even more special. If you are looking for the sunglasses, they will be available from February 2016 globally. If only I could get my hands on one of those exquisite bug tie pins before then!
Keep an eye on The Man Has Style on Instagram as more photos are to follow from the afternoon. In the meantime, make sure you watch the full show (Burberry Spring Summer 2016 ‘Strait-Laced’).
‘The Experience of Burberry’ was spectacular. Thank you Burberry for inviting me to share this. It was a pleasure.
Words by Sarah Crawford, Editor, The Man Has Style
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