Burberry Prorsum autumn/winter 2011 at London Fashion Week
British heritage brand Burberry launched fashion to the masses from London Fashion Week.
The British heritage brand, Burberry, pursued its goal of global fashion domination from London Fashion Week, with a "Coats of Many Colours" collection shown in a 1,000 seater-tent in Kensington Gardens, which was simultaneously streamed live to 150 countries and 40 events, including a public showing on a 32 metre digital screen in Piccadilly Circus - a world first.
Samantha Cameron, attending her fourth fashion show of the day, joined a front row celebrity line-up which included Kate Bosworth, Rachel Bilson, Alexa Chung, the Duran Duran boys, the Under-Secretary of State Ed Vaizey, Julia Restoin Roitfeld, Kate Moss's fiancé Jamie Hince, Carl Barat of The Libertine, Sir Philip Green and the editors-in-chief of American, French, Italian and British Vogues: Anna Wintour, Emmanuelle Alt, Franca Sozzani, and Alex Shulman.
The collection, designed by Christopher Bailey, the chief creative officer who has helped power Burberry to become a £5.1 billion fashion megalith, took his inspiration from archive photographs by David Bailey of Jean Shrimpton, a house model in the 1960s, and the British weather, and said his shapes were based on the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth.
The show opened against a filmed backdrop of a fierce snowstorm, possibly raging in Christopher Bailey's native Yorkshire, and closed with a fall of fake snow and all 52 models dressed in matching clear PVC capes over their clothes.
The collection, for next autumn/winter, was a masterclass in keeping out the cold in style. Coats came in bold primary shades of orange, scarlet, purple, and blue, together with olive, and classic black, white and monochrome cashmere and wool, bold, plaids and autumnal tweeds, and in every kind of fur and hide from fox and fake to sheepskin. Most were worn with exaggerated flared trousers which grazed the floor, or skinny legging which revealed the clumpy, rubber-soled, buckled shoes.
The coats were detailed with epaulettes, military buttons, kimono sleeves, half-belts across the lower spine, gathered skirts, dropped waists and leather strap fastenings across the bust and almost all came with matching handbags and cute, fluffy "flat caps".
Bailey revealed backstage that many of the more elaborate tweeds and bouclé-wools had been woven archaic looms from the 1950s, in order to get exactly the right crunchy texture he wanted. Intricate cable knit sweaters had fox sleeves. Fit-and-flare coats featured fur shoulders, cuffs and skirts, with a cinched-in torso in quilted leather.
A smattering of dresses provided something to wear when you removed your coat. Most were in white, with cleavage cut-outs and cutaway backs, and were accessorised with rounded, white clutches embellished with tassels.