text by Kara Kia
In the historic Old Sessions house in East London, Burberry continues its transition into modernity with a fresh twist on its classic 19th century raincoat. The new Burberry is edgier and experimental with semi-sheer rubber coats in pastels, strategic lace and colourful Scottish-inspired knits. The rubber said fetish, the lace was sexy, eastern inspired and the prints were positively heritage against a backdrop of images by 20th century British photographers. Despite an anti-fur demonstration, where the house does not use fur, the story of a 21st century Burberry was well articulated.
The collection was best described by Creative Director Christopher Bailey “I wanted it to be a bit more honest, less polished with a bit more rawness, with working class gritty, generally Northern urban images,” said Bailey. “I had been looking at all these images and started to build a picture of what I wanted the collection to be. And I liked the grandeur of this building. It is a lot of what we’re trying to say in the collection – a bit of grandeur, but also it’s broken down with age.”
Versace invented the famed model squad that defined a 90’s fashion aesthetic, models walking down the runway in pairs of three and four. It was sweet nostalgia to see Gianni’s iconic vision revisited by sister Donatella on the 20th anniversary of his death. Binx Walton, Rianne Van Rompaey, Lexi Boling and Vittoria Ceretti opened the show as the Versace girl gang of the early naughties. A blank set emphasized the retrospect and a front row filled with the crème of Italian designers, Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli, Gucci’s Alessandro Michele and Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello.
Donatella paid homage to her brother by pulling out the medusa heads, studded leather and archival prints, seashells, Warholian Vogue and Monroe. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house by the time the original supermodels Carla, Claudia, Naomi, Cindy and Helena closed the show in Versace chainmail while Donatella took a bow to the 90’s song Freedom by George Michael.
by Kara Kia