Burberry Gave Us a Fashion History Lesson We Can Shop Right Now
One of the things that most surprises people about Fashion Week is the length of the average show. Over and done with in about 10 minutes, it can sometimes feel like a bit of an anticlimax given all the build-up beforehand.
Not so with Burberry, where Christopher Bailey combined womenswear and menswear collections for a runway-to-retail extravaganza that lasted 25 minutes and consisted of over 80 looks.
The first inspiration was Virginia Woolf's Orlando, the tale of an Elizabethan nobleman who undergoes a change of sex and lives for more than 300 years without ageing. Thus, we got an androgynous romp through the ages, from the ruffs and leg-o-mutton sleeves of the Elizabethan age, through to ornate jackets and fringed capes inspired by regency military uniforms, and the ultimate in "just got out of bed" style: silk pyjama suits (for boys and girls) worn under smoking jackets, belted silk dressing gowns, and velvet blazers.
The second influence was Nancy Lancaster, whose traditional country house interiors inspired brocade dresses, wallpaper-print blouses, pleated skirts in muddy prints, woodland prints on jumpers and dresses, and striped cotton trousers.
However, if there's one thing you'll covet from the collection, it'll be a coat (either one of those printed dressing gowns, an oversize aviator with fluted cuffs, or a long, soft trench lined with traditional Burberry check) or a pair of chunky heeled cut-out ankle boots with laces and buckles. The good news is you can buy those boots right now! Indeed, a huge part of the collection is now available to buy online, as Burberry leads the charge in giving us a more instant Fashion Week fix, rather than a six-month wait. Prepare to discover the future of fashion!