Burberry : Now You See It; Now You Buy It!

The question we so often attempt to answer come show season is what you'll be wearing next season. So it seems like a slightly strange sentence to write when it comes to Burberry – because we were seeing what you'll be wearing now. Tonight, tomorrow, the next ten minutes, even – because this collection was the first of the see-now-buy-now phenomenon, available immediately in store and online post show. 


Burberry Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in London


It was a model first announced by the brand back in February and adopted by designers including Tom Ford, Ralph Lauren, and Tommy Hilfiger last week during NYFW. Clearly, they all have a common thread – theirs are the types of clothes that have built a loyal following to begin with; and don't change all that much season on season – if that can even be a term anymore – such is the classic signature that they've managed to build.

But so this was the show, the very hyped show among industry insiders – whether or not consumers, to whom it’s facing, will even notice remains to be seen. Fashion operates both on a local and global level and this is one of those shake-ups that is likely to have everyone baffled, or they might not actually notice at all. 


Burberry Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in London


I am quite confused about the ‘buy now, wear now’ movement and think buyers and customers must be very confused too: are they really showcasing the coming season or is it about direct sales?” queries Caren Downie, the mind behind the brand Finery and widely noted as being one of the most influential women in fashion (she was formerly buying director of Topshop back in the day). 


Burberry Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in London


Where you were likely to notice, however, is if you happened to be at the store’s Regent Street flagship this evening. The window was plastered with a “shop the show” slogan. And post a live-stream of a 20-minute show, curtains pulled back from the grand atrium and what viewers had gazed up at suddenly surrounded them, available to buy now, wear now, have now! In fact, being in this situ probably made far more sense than if you were watching the show – which was already out of date by the time you had left the venue. Yes, fashion moves that fast. And we’re only just getting used to it. 


Burberry Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in London


I think that perhaps because America doesn’t have the legacies that France and Italy and London have, we’re a little more willing to adapt new ideas and incorporate them,” points out Max Berlinger, style editor at GQ.COM and a freelance fashion reporter. He’s reflecting on the aforementioned brands and the fact that, election notes aside, see-now-buy-now was the hot topic of NYFW. “Our brands are younger and smaller and more able to be nimble and absorb new business strategies without it having to trickle through many layers of people, a benefit of working on a smaller scale and the benefit being upstart and even mid-size brands have over big behemoths. Also, the retail scene has been bleak here; I get the feeling people are doing anything and everything they can to change things up!

And he’s not wrong on that point. Social media speeded things up; it’s almost as the fashion industry itself is only just catching up: regardless, there’s a lot influx, a lot of comment and protest and logistical details to come to grips with. See-now-buy-now was announced as a way to fix the fashion industry, yet for some brands it will, in fact, break it. 


Burberry Women Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Spring Summer 2017 in London


The intention is to be consumer-facing, so that when you go shopping you see what you want in store as opposed to bikinis in winter and fuzzy coats in summer. You get the point. 

Here, you had to remind yourself what season we were looking at; what season it is; what day it is even. Aviator jackets got an Edwardian drama for leg-of-mutton sleeves, these featured throughout; there was a flamboyancy akin to Oscar Wilde, pussy bows, a sense of poetry and musician; ruffle necks and billowing silhouettes; pyjama robes and lace cami dresses. It was an incredibly romantic collection that drew on historical references and mashed them up into the modern-day and the incredibly wearable – which is just what Burberry does. If Gucci’s dress-up spirit is too much, too magpie, then Burberry has the lyrical answer. 

Whether it does have the answer in terms of “mending” the fashion cycle – which is something of an intangible concept anyway – is still a question mark. But then fashion loves a guessing game and whether the seasons exist or not, we have to have something to get us through them. 


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