In honor of Burberry’s A/W 16 collection showing last week, they kicked off a collaboration with Makers House (a warehouse on Charring Cross Road where the show was held) to bring the idea of creation (free!) to the public with a multi-faceted experience. They had invited painters, sculptures, and GIF creators to work in the space to showcase the processes of each art. It was beyond incredible. Sketches, inspiration boards, and fabric swatches that showed the early works of the collection were displayed on the walls. Upstairs, the garments were all displayed and I was really shocked to find that the pieces were not roped off. People were carefully touching the fabrics and photographing the experience up close. I absolutely loved how hands on this was. I enjoyed seeing the jersey fabrics, new ways of integrating ruffles, and revisited military inspiration. Following in Angela Ahrendts’ footsteps as CEO, newcomer, Christopher Bailey has done a remarkable job reshaping the company while still adhering to its’ traditional values.
This collection was monumental for the company because it debuted the trial of the “runway-to-retail” (also known as ‘see-now, buy-now’). This concept is quite open-ended, but follows the central idea of accommodating the obstacle of growing customer fatigue. With mass market brands holding a two-week lead time over most other companies’ six months manufacturing period, luxury companies are having to incorporate revolutionary methods of retail that will bring product to their customers at a quicker pace. For Burberry, this meant giving the public the ability to purchase pieces from the collection the second the runway show ended. Usually there is a six month gap between the two events. The question of whether or not this will bolster consumerism without having to forgo quality is one that will be interesting to revisit in time. However, the rise in ‘seasonless’ fashion and integration of women’s and menswear shows are factors that support this new style. Oh, to live in the age of instant gratification.