London, 1967 — A year after George Harrison would introduce his bandmates in The Beatles to the concept of transcendental meditation, the group gathered at a local Hilton to meet the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This meeting not only radically altered The Beatles’ sound, but it transformed their values as humans on a deep, spiritual level. There is an iconic photograph of the fateful encounter. In it, John, Paul, George, and Ringo sit on either side of the smiling Maharishi. The backdrop is filled with flowers, and the group sits cross-legged decked in Indian prints and shearling lined vests. When this photograph was published, it ignited a fervor for Eastern style, and soon their pioneering efforts were to influence not only the world of music, but the world of fashion as well.
Since London was the epicenter for a new hippie aesthetic that was obsessed with Eastern culture, as well as the East’s connection to the natural world, its celebration of homespun textiles, and its traditional costumes, it seems only fitting that in the modern era, Burberry Prorsum would be responsible for improving upon the look with a new Fall/Winter 2015 collection. 48 years after the fact, fashion has forgotten the affordability principle of hippie garb, and embraced a nouveau-luxe attitude. “Haute hippie” fashion has never been so glamorous as it was today on the Burberry runway.
Designer Christopher Bailey explored the liberated, cultured look of the late 1960s and early 1970s with an eye for artisanally crafted fabrics. For Fall/Winter 2015, his work centered on an impressive array of textures and prints (namely paisley, floral, and damask) which were stitched together on fringed capes, patchworked onto suede trousers and skirts, and embossed onto chic jackets and trench coats. It was a visual feast for the eyes, as Burberry’s well-loved signatures were used to ignite a retro revival at the storied brand. Fantastic looks included a series of dresses with mirrored mosaic bodices and gauzy skirts, suede jackets and capes made from shingled fringe, expressive Indian cotton print frocks (perfect for festival season!), and glamorous fur coats. Bailey’s acuity for design is equal to his business acumen — as soon as the collection wrapped on the runway, it was up for sale on the Burberry website, and if you hurry you can snag that fringed cape (you know the one) before it sells out.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree