Who knew Burberry’s gal loved a hot pair of wheels and a cloud of two-stroke exhaust fumes? Christopher Bailey roared into new territory with an homage to motorcycle gear in its most luxe iteration. Burberry’s chief creative officer swapped fall’s shearling aviator jackets and sharp, buttoned-up military coats for a tougher, tighter-fitting silhouette in the stylish spirit of James Dean.
“I want everything — it was the best show I’ve ever seen,” said Serena Williams, part of a front-row lineup that included Sarah Jessica Parker, Alexa Chung, Andy Murray, Douglas Booth and Cat Deeley.
Burberry, which has aggressively been pushing the boundaries of Internet marketing, endeavored to transfer that buzz worldwide, beaming the show in real time to 25 of its stores. The show was screened on Tuesday afternoon with surround-sound and customers were urged to browse the spring collection on iPads in the store. They were able to buy selected outerwear, handbags and Burberry Beauty items off the runway via a custom-built app, and orders will be delivered in seven weeks. The firm’s chief executive officer, Angela Ahrendts, said this “retail theater” is at the heart of the brand’s growth strategy, and allows Burberry to connect with its consumers worldwide.
Bailey stacked his collection with classic padded, quilted, and zippered biker jackets, working them in sparkling silver leather, embellishing them with panels of khaki mesh or fashioning them from slick patent leather. And he had a rip-roaring time taking elements from the brand’s signature trench and grafting them onto the biker jackets: Bailey popped trench buckles onto sleeves and around waists, worked with khaki-colored leathers, and sewed double-breasted rows of buttons onto others still.
And for those ladies who prefer four wheels to two, Bailey transformed some of his biker jackets into short trenches. He also cross-bred the biker with the trench, sewing black leather, padded sleeves and shoulders onto a short, double-breasted coat and slipped black leather strips and epaulets onto others. There were punches of color, too, including a bright green patent leather biker jacket and a host of ruched silk dresses in shades of mint, eau de nil and midnight blue. Accessories, including patent leather bags and large buckle belts, popped in shades of electric green and aqua, deep purple and hot pink.
And while this was one turbo-powered collection, Bailey skidded, at times, into dangerous territory. The biker jackets paved with spikes and studs were overwrought, and there was nothing elegant or fresh about those flashes of python on trousers, dresses, and jackets.