Burberry’s heritage might be centuries old, but Christopher Bailey’s vision for the brand is relentlessly forward-thinking. Twenty-four hours before the lights went up on the Burberry Prorsum runway, a sneak peek of the collection was staged on Snapchat. Having recently announced a partnership with Apple Music, it seems the CEO and chief creative is forging ahead with other tech and sound alliances too, and attendees of today’s show were treated to a mini concert by Alison Moyet, a video of which will be launched exclusively with the music-sharing service.
Performing with a 32-piece orchestra, Moyet’s ethereal vocals set the darkly romantic tone of the show, and the first model was dressed in head-to-toe black—a thigh-grazing lace minidress, classic trenchcoat, sporty rubber-soled sandals, and a nylon backpack. That mishmash of techy sportswear and delicate vintage-inspired eveningwear was cut with militaristic details throughout: Peacoats came studded with brass, Sgt. Pepper–style regimental buttons, and slinky satin silk skirts were finished with metallic cording of the kind you might find on a soldier’s uniform. In fact, they were made by the same embroiderers that decorate the coats of the Queen’s Guard, just a stone’s throw away at Kensington Palace. Clearly homegrown production values are still on the agenda, and much of the lace was made in the U.K., too.
Bailey never fails to keep the bigger picture in mind, though, and he explained backstage after the show that, for him, the idea of traditional seasons has essentially become obsolete: Showing those pretty ’40s-inspired slips with a cozy, sheared mink coat as well as light summer trenchcoats makes sense in a global market.
And speaking of slip dressing—a trend that has been inescapable on both sides of the pond—Kate Moss, the woman who took the look to the world stage in the ’90s, was sitting in the front row next to London’s current reigning cool girl Cara Delevingne. With a social media following in the millions, the model turned actress has an enormous sphere of influence. The counterintuitive styling of the show, where a hoodie and a bias-cut silk dress can happily coexist in the space of one look, had modern verve and spoke to the kind of #OOTDs that live in her Instagram feed. After the Internet frenzy for Burberry’s Fall 2015 monogrammed blanket, the brand’s new nylon backpack, which was embroidered with Delevingne’s initials and sat in her lap today, is likely to go viral jus
t as quickly.