Burberry Takes a Risk with an Experimental Collection for Fall/Winter 2017

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Spring/Summer 2017 presents a new side to Burberry – one that is entirely experimental.

Burberry is reliably at the forefront of all sorts of business innovations, like understanding the importance of social media, being among the first to live-stream collections, using hologram technology, blending menswear and womenswear, and most recently, adopting the new “see now, buy now” retail model. However, the brand’s forward-thinking ways have rarely extended to the runway where it has long chosen to maintain a fairly predictable, heritage approach to design. Yet, Spring/Summer 2017 presents a new side to Burberry – one that is entirely experimental.

Burberry February 2017 Collection
Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

You can thank British sculptor Henry Moore for Burberry’s experimental makeover; after all, it was he that inspired Christopher Bailey for Spring/Summer 2017. However, instead of the smoothing, voluptuous curves of a Moore sculpture, Bailey interpreted the artistic theme in ruffled textures and deconstructed, asymmetrical tailoring. Bailey maintains that Moore inspired “every aspect” of the collection, so a closer look is required. Under the magnifying glass, the details were less about the sculptor’s curvaceous creations, and more about the man himself. The many nautical stripes found throughout the show were inspired by Moore’s apron and the magnificent feather-and-leather capes that formed the finale paid homage to his obsession with found objects, and was Bailey’s first foray into couture (the capes are made-to-measure and can only be ordered through the boutiques).

Risk-taking has paid off for Burberry plenty of times before; we’re sure it will again for retail sales.

Other evidence of Bailey’s experimental mood was found in the diced-and-spliced way he cobbled together looks from pajama suiting, Edwardian styles, knitwear, and the brand’s beloved trench coat. Each element was treated to strange renderings: shirting was done with overlong sleeves with broderie anglaise details, trench coats were outfitted with immense asymmetrical lapels, sweaters were finished with abstractly arranged cords. There were boleros crocheted from ropes, corrugated military jackets, pieced-together cable knit sweaters, tiered lace sheaths, and more. Risk-taking has paid off for Burberry plenty of times before; we’re sure it will again for retail sales.

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