Last week, Burberry became the first brand to launch a dedicated channel on Apple Music. Angela Ahrendts and Christopher Bailey are in a mutually beneficial checkmate scenario. These two brands don't plan to check mate each other, of course, it's the world they're both after.
Stepping off Burberry’s brand-craft, from the plush cream carpet and into Hyde Park, we were hovering over autumn leaves, with Alison Moyet, and a 32 piece orchestra playing aboard. Christopher Bailey couldn’t have planned the weather better; his beloved England drizzled, whilst his brand offered the bubble.
This brand is an empire. To prove matters, a gilded monochromatic colour palette of black, cream, gold, café au lait and burnt umber both whispered quiet luxury and impenetrable lock down. Think of those bishop chess pieces we always underestimate. Feminine colours such as primrose gold, apple green and nude peach emerged like a rising trot, as single pieces – perfectly harmonised into a hue. Like the knight, the prettiness cleverly jumped over other pieces – they were there even if you didn’t notice them.
Burberry has been in expansion mode for several years now. Pushing boundaries of innovation via design has become trumped by their desire to become a digital brand, which pushes luxury in terms of social influence. This may be viewed as increasingly formulaic by many, but this season they were deep in the trenches of proving current relevance, via strategic nods to the history books of world dominance. This was design with marketing in mind. A reduced colour palette and neoclassical style doesn’t say we are now – it says we are forever. Ricardo Tisci chose a very similar tact, when celebrating Givenchy’s 10th anniversary in New York.
Burberry Prorsum cross-pollinated British heritage detailing with a neoclassical display of power. There were distinct Helen of Troy undertones. Grecian draping was bound with bullion cord, long cream silk skirts glided under oversized blazers, complete with military frogging and duffle detailing. Point d'esprit floor length gowns in luxurious umber were Roman goddess lingerie, fit for a battlefield. These dresses were then promoted through the ranks, as silver metallic and gold lace versions followed.
Generation-Me were catered for with Back to School style nylon backpacks, with bespoke gold initial lettering for each model. Not hugely original, still Miuccia’s it bags of the nineties are overdue a much need respin. To instagram sweethearts – Burberry’s army of valuable pawns - this will be like their first term owning such a piece. Sweatshirts took storm flaps from the Burberry raincoat, and integrated them as a sporty detailing element. Creating a rebirth of relevance for the design house’s halo piece, this was another tactic to ensure the queen was safe for another season.
Burberry moves across the board…