Burberry an Iconic British brand with roots that hark back to 1856, which is so uniquely British that if you listen carefully you can hear Rule Britania crescendo from on high every time a Burberry item is purchased.
Burberry has always been associated with high quality practical design, for example the iconic trench coat came from a need to adapt the traditional officer’s coat to suit the wet and muddy trenches of the front line. Thus Burberry commissioned the ‘trench coat’ which became an instant soldiers favourite and is still favoured in modern fashion today, then there is the Gabardine Jacket that George Mallory wore on his exhibition to conquer Mount Everest in 1924.
Despite the fact that Malory climb was unsuccessful and that he perished on the mountain the legend lived on much like the Gabardine jacket did. These momentous occasions in Burberry’s history are what it bases its clothing on; it’s why people love the brand and why people pay so much for a Burberry trench coat over another. However in recent years there was a seismic shift of Burberry’s clientele. A shift which started to erode the very fabric of the brand and devalue it entirely. The culprit? The Chav. the chav and chavette driven by aspiration and a desire to prove their own self-importance and wealth combined with Burberry selling off many items in discount stores resulted in every street corner’s ne’er-do-wells being decked out in a tracksuit and a Burberry hat.
Burberry is fighting hard to claw back its brand values and change its image. It has used huge advertising campaigns involving Emma Watson and Romeo Beckham. Which brings us nicely back to the present day; I am sitting in a coffee shop across the road from Somerset House the location of London Fashion Week, pondering of the intriguing and bizarre display of clothing that I saw earlier in the week at Burberry’s event in Kensington Gardens.
The look Burberry went for this year has been afforded the luxury coveted title of the ‘carpet’ by the media and has certainly caused a stir in the fashion world. The collection by Burberry, showcased some amazing print and floral dresses with incredible combinations of colours and patterns, only then to have these beautiful thought provoking dresses covered up by off the shoulder shawls or poncho’s that appeared to be made out of something that resembled a mix between my grandmother’s 40 year old carpet and America Indian Tent material.
These heavy looking ponchos in eye catching reds and yellows have caused controversy, yet the gentleman and lady on either side of me during the event cooed and talked excitably about how amazing and perfect the looks were.
Now I admit Cara Delevingne certainly looked stunning and chiselled, but to be honest I was staring more at her face than the rug she was carrying over one should down the hallway. I’m still undecided about the Burberry carpet, the floral print dresses are stunning, but do I want my girlfriend to be walking along down Oxford Street playing a balancing game between a heavy bag in one arm and heavy poncho slung over the other shoulder. I couldn’t help wonder what it meant for men’s fashion? What it meant for Burberry as a brand? One thing is certain, if carpets come back into fashion Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti western look is going to be hard to top!
Images are taken from Catwalking.com and LFW