Earlier this month, Burberry announced major plans to shake up the fashion industry. For years and all the seasons in between, everyone who works in fashion has despaired at the senseless speed of it all. The demand for collection after collection – from womenswear to menswear, to pre-collections, to cruise collections – is exhausting for press, and crippling for designers. The shit well and truly hit the fan in 2015 as a remarkable number of the world’s most talented designers stepped down from their positions due to overwhelming stress. And so, the quietly confident wonder of a man that is Christopher Bailey officially said “enough”, announcing that Burberry will show just two collections per year, with none of the fuss in between, thank you. This may not sound revelatory to you, but honestly, it is, and it took a brand like Burberry to pull the plug. True, the British heritage brand is one of the few equipped to pull it off, but true too that Burberry, and its Bailey, are trend-setters. Today Bailey showed his autumn/winter 16 collection to the industry and its stars with guests ranging from Naomi Campbell and The Weeknd, to Nicholas Hoult. British musician Jake Bugg sang live in the middle of the catwalk as models sashayed past him – and towered above him. Of course, the collection was great, which almost goes without saying at this point in Bailey’s career. Seasoned Burberry girl Edie Campbell opened proceedings in a military style coat with a beautifully green, not quite Harlequin print. Lineisy Montero heightened the envy in a green snakeskin mackintosh, and Ruth Bell sported a freshly shaved head and a yellow fur collar on a black overcoat. The collection was called ‘A Patchwork’, interpreted in heavy woollen coats, asymmetric patchwork patterns on dresses and contrasting pleats. Bailey excelled in colour combinations and his clashing of textures was as artful as ever. Showing menswear and womenswear alongside each other, the show quite simply had it all.
And then for another cool move… Instead of waiting six months to purchase pieces from the show in real life, for the first time ever, the collection is already available at the 121 Regent Street store. While this may seem like another act of ‘senseless speed’, Burberry is just the one acting on what every else is thinking: that it makes no sense to show a collection in February that’s not available until September, when the next show of the next collection is starting. In addition to absolutely smashing Snapchat and their recent Brooklyn Beckham-shot campaign on the platform, Burberry also informed us today that they are on Kakao and YouKu. No, we don’t know what they are either, but no doubt they’ll take over the world soon. Oh and you can buy the soundtrack from the show on iTunes now, or through the Burberry Apple Connect Page – up to you :) Everything is on offer.