News & Runway

Burberry Prorsum S/S 2011: London Fashion Week

Since its return to London a few seasons ago, Burberry has been the most highly anticipated show of the London Fashion Week. It draws huge crowds, along with the big editors (read: Anna Wintour).
This season the show seemed larger than ever, with over 1,000 seated guests – and many more standing – all packed into the space to see Christopher Bailey’s newest.
The designer took to Burberry’s twitter in the days before the show to build anticipation, but it didn’t quite have the impact of Robert Duffy at Marc Jacobs. Bailey seemed stiff and unrelatable – but frankly, Burberry doesn’t need a social media stunt to ensure people will watch the live stream. 
In the early 20th century, Thomas Burberry designed for some of the first bikers in England, and it was this inspiration that perhaps led Mr. Bailey astray.
Heritage biker was the name of the collection, and noteworthy looks included a variety of covetable motorcycle jackets, leather leggings, and heels that proved too high for even the most seasoned models. Sure, this collection is certain to sell well, and will satiate Bailey fans worldwide, but after last season’s shearling-filled knock out collection, this lacked the polished finish that we have come to expect.  
The looks seemed overworked, and the point of view seemed hazy. The die-hards have rose-colored glasses when it comes to Burberry, but when you look past the celebrities in the front row and the glitz of a big-budget production, this collection lacked excitement.
In a twist that has become more common with some of the bigger brands, the consumers could purchase the garments straight off the runway and have them delivered in time for this winter.  While smart for sales, this is a move that limits the margin for error. One of the most interesting things about a runway presentation is that sometimes garments are edited after the fact, and this type of permanence can limit the creativity of the designer.