Burberry titled their A/W 15 show 'classically bohemian'. Given the essence of living a bohemian life is all about being whimsical, avant garde, unexpected, you could call that an oxymoron. But then Burberry is all about scrubbing up and sanitising things - theirs is a world where even ponchos and other 'kooky' elements look polished, rich and shiny. Christopher Bailey has such an exact vision that he can absorb almost any reference, no matter how seemingly scandalous or naughty, into the Burberry world without ever shocking or surprising - there will always been deep autumnal hues (mustard, olive, burgundy), artful layers (too considered to ever look disheveled) and ultra-polished accessories in wholesome hues - ideal stocking fillers for the men and women who have everything.
Such is the precision of the Burberry codes - the show venue is always lined in tasteful beige and gold, there's always some kind of polite Sunday afternoon soundtrack (today Clare Maguire) and catwalk proceedings always start bang on time so they can be beamed across the world on a live stream. You'll note that what's interesting is that none of the Burberry codes ever involve clothes - there's no distinctive Bailey cut or feel, there are the aformentioned signature hues (his skill as a master colourist was emphasised today) but the Burberry vibe is more about a 360 degree sense of control, slickness and cleaness than fashion propositions. But that's why they're such a successful lifestyle brand - I deliberately say lifestyle brand because it’s not really about the clothes. Yes we could spend time analysing those leopard print outwear pieces or those spangly mirrored jacket (an odd design choice given Vuitton under Kim Jones showed the exact same detail for men last season as part of their India-inspired collection). In reality this looked more like it was dreamed up in the offices of a trend analysis agency than a design studio, but that's why Burberry are such a commercial powerhouse - they never really experiment and because of that they never put a foot wrong. If sales alone are the biggest indicator of a collection's impact and relevance then this will be a roaring success.