Burberry’s February 2017 collection for men and women was premiered at Makers House in London. The bespoke fashion looks were shown alongside bronze sculptures by Henry Moore, the iconic British artist that inspired the collection, which featured along the runway.
The artistic influence placed the designer’s focus on sculpture and silhouette, material and process, proportions and durable fabrics. Moore’s original artistic vision is articulated here through form, texture and crafted detail, as well as prints referencing his designs from the Henry Moore Foundation archive. In contrast to the Virginia Woolf’s Orlando-inspired collection the previous Burberry season, the colours here are muted, focusing primarily on white, grey and steely cool blue. All the looks on show were immediately available to buy via Burberry’s physical, digital and partner retail networks following the show, part of their recent move to adopt a greater use of technology to get clothing straight-to-consumer.
His work set up a series of conversations as we were working on this collection; discussions about scale, proportion, texture, patina and shape. We looked at the contradictions in Moore’s work, between power and gentleness, heaviness and lightness, familiarity and abstraction. Between the hardness of his materials and the fluidity and softness of his forms.
Oversized bell cuffs on classic crisp white shirts obscured the model’s hands, which, in addition to structured and often asymmetrical off-the-shoulder wool jumpers and military-style jackets on show, lent a more sculptural quality to the clothing. Small sculptures feature featured subtly on the heels of the knitted boots, echoing the soft bronze curves Moore is renowned for, and providing a similar solidity that is difficult to reflect in fabric. Moore was renowned for deconstructing shapes and objects and moving them away from the literal, a method Bailey has attempted to adopt using oversized and cropped elements together, and constructing clothing from multiple patterns and fabrics. Introduced also, were a new DK88 collection of men’s and women’s classic-styled bags, named after Burberry’s signature honey-colour.
A series of 78 limited-edition couture and intricately handmade capes and caplets which were elaborately embellished finished with feathers, crystals, and swathes of layered lace, in the style of traditional ruffs, and presented as part of the show’s finale. Inspired by the scale and form of Moore’s elemental sculptures, each unisex design referenced elements from the Burberry archive. Weighty chainmail hoods were contrasted with layers of light feathers, and an almost skeletal-like cape made of large glittering pearls, which were placed over outfits already strutted down the runway earlier, and added an alternative edge to this collection.