The walking ad campaign that is the Burberry Prorsum show is the most polished, moneyed show that London Fashion Week has to offer.
Minutes before you reach your padded velvet seat in the humongous purpose-built marquee in Kensington Gardens, an email pings into your inbox from Christopher Bailey, the brand’s Chief Creative and also Chief Executive Officer, headlined ‘Welcome’. It reads: ‘We’ve named the collection Patchwork, Pattern & Prints, and are delighted that Claire Maguire is performing for us again, not to mention privileged that she has written a song for the show. We hope you enjoy it! All best, Christopher.’
It says a lot about the friendliness of this slick machine that the CEO and CCO emails you directly. And it puts you in the mood for the toe-tapping, rousing musical medley and the girls with their natural make-up and gently wind-swept hair that look as if they’ve stepped out of the latest glossy ad.
You just know, even now, that the forthcoming autumn/winter 2015 ad campaign will look spectacular, that perfect mix of blockbuster models (Edie Campbell, a Delevingne or two) and, ultimately, accessible clothes with a nod to fashion now. In short, the winning Burberry Prorsum formula of creativity meets commerciality.
You’ve got to hand it to Bailey for pulling off yet another perfectly pitched show: the 1970s do look good in his hands, all printed patterns and patchwork; not a Burberry check in sight and barely a mac. Yet this was still very much Burberry. Ponchos with long fringes, cosy coats made of teddy bear fur, and charming peasant dresses in gorgeous saturated burnt reds and watery blues, worn under teeny quilted waistcoats embroidered with mirrors, all gave the faintest whiff of an era when burning joss sticks was the dernier cri.
Some of the accessories were also nosed to the 1970s with editorial-worthy thigh-high patchworked boots and fringed duffle bags. Or they looked comfortably modern – a soft leopard print clutch, say, held in the crook of Edie’s arm.
Nothing was off. Everything was as it should be, including the horse chestnut ‘helicopter’ leaves, in silver paper, that fluttered down from the ceiling as the models came out for their curtain call.
Photos above all Getty Images