Tailoring—transformed into abstract art


BY: Michael Perris and Liz MacDonald

The Burberry Fall/Winter 2017-18 Ready to Wear Collection continues this fashion label’s latest direction shift, the second Burberry see-now-buy-now coed presentation. Creative Director Christopher Bailey created this collection as a celebration of British sculptor Henry Moore, partnering with the Henry Moore Foundation for the organization’s 40th anniversary. Moore’s aesthetic inspired every aspect of this Burberry show, from the designs and the color palette to a set featuring Moore’s iconic bronze sculptures and surrounded by his studies and drawings.

With this Fall/Winter collection, Burberry also pays homage to classic British tailoring and menswear, as seen through the lens of Henry Moore abstraction. Brand staples like trenches, man’s shirting and military coats are deconstructed and presented with asymmetric cuts and unexpected proportions. Hues of black, white, gray and workwear blue (drawn from the wardrobe of the artist himself) were also inspired by Moore. “Moore’s work is about changing the form, putting it in different directions,” said Bailey, who is also chief creative officer. “His shoulders were suddenly up here, the breasts were suddenly down here, and I liked that idea of putting something on, turning it in a completely different way, deconstructing it, changing the shape of the body by moving the lines and the pieces in a more unconventional way.”

Singer Anna Calvi opened the Burberry show with two songs, and then transitioned into a haunting cover of Christine and the Queens accompanied by a full orchestra and chorus. As a finale, Burberry delivered a gorgeous lineup of ornate statement capes in materials ranging from silver feathers and metallic leather to stiff lace and glittery embellishment. Even here, the fashion label championed all things British, each look a reference to a different English epoch—Medieval, Tudor, Renaissance, and Victoriana. Hail Britannia.

You can watch the full presentation of the Burberry Fall/Winter 2017-18 Ready to Wear Collection at London Fashion Week, above.