Christopher Bailey Talks Us Through His Burberry AW16 Show And His Vision For The Future Of Fashion Week

Caroline Leaper

The Burberry show is always one of London Fashion Week’s hottest tickets, producing consistently covetable collections and attracting the starriest front row crowd we’ll see all season.

And today’s AW16 extravaganza was no exception, as models from Edie Campbell to Immy Waterhouse worked high-shine daywear on the runway, while Naomi Campbell, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Alexa Chung and more watched on from the front row.

But this season, talk was as much about designer Christopher Bailey’s decision to re-think the way Burberry does fashion week, as it was about the clothes. From September, the brand will operate on a season-less, 'see-now, buy-now' strategy, allowing us all to buy direct from the catwalk. ‘Burberry always lead the way, whether it’s in the fashion, tech or the music worlds,’ Suki Waterhouse, one of the brand’s hottest groupies, told us before the show. ‘Whatever they do, it’s a sign of the times.’

Backstage, Christopher talked us through the collection and explained exactly how the new format would work.

Christopher’s Moodboard Featured A Mash-Up Of References…
‘It was a patchwork of everything I love,’ he says. ‘Musicians that I love, the Mitford sisters, the military – it was glam rock with wellies from the country – a total mix. Even the fabrics were a mix - the metallics were created with lame, lurex and real metal woven together with silk. It’s not a themed show, it’s just lots of things I like.’


He Didn’t Mean To Cause Any Of Those ‘Is This The End Of Fashion Week’ Headlines…
‘It wasn’t supposed to cause a cascade effect with other designers, we’re just doing the things that feel right for us and what feels right for the customers and the audiences that we speak to. We were early to digital and I feel like when we invited this public audience in, we weren’t right to tell them to conform to the industry’s timings, just because this is a format that we’d created as an industry. It wasn’t supposed to be some huge shift because we’ve been evolving towards this – it’s just a rebalancing. We are a fashion industry that is supposed to embrace change and our format should be able to evolve too. It was never meant to be radical though!' 


So What You See Here Is AW16 Part One…
‘You look at this as a collection of clothes that will be delivered into stores in both very hot climates and very cold climates. So you’ve got heavy cashmere coats beside very light dresses. And this collection will go into stores in June and July, but some pieces will flow in sooner, and then in September we’ll show a mixture of the two seasons again. So there will be a continuation of the themes from this collection into the next one.’



See all the images from the Burberry Prorsum AW16 show in the gallery above.

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