Burberry brings back its infamous check with attitude
You know things have changed when a breakfast is studied with the same intensity as the looks on the catwalk. At Mother of Pearl’s show yesterday morning at The Ned hotel in the City, the avocado toast, banana and quinoa porridge and green juices with floating violets were hitting the numbers on Instagram, as they were doubtless designed to do.
It may seem tangential to the clothes, which were witty and offered a myriad of different takes on trousers, but fashion has always been about aspiration and with a little flair, a small label can gain a lot of traction.
“In terms of awareness, the change from a year ago is enormous,” says Amy Powney, Mother of Pearl’s creative director. Could she compete with the mighty Burberry, showing later in the day?
Burberry, whose 2016 sales topped £2.5billion, has fat advertising budgets; employs Mario Testino, inter alia, to shoot advertising campaigns; and is famous for its blockbuster shows and celebrity-filled front rows.
For all its leviathan-esque dimensions, it is showing admirable flexibility of late. Like Mother of Pearl, it has moved to the see-now-buy-now strategy and graduated from its mega catwalk spectacles to something more intimate and more “indie” in tone. Last night’s show, in a former courthouse in Clerkenwell, was a case in point. On the walls hung “social” portraits displaying Britain in its glorious, sometimes fractious, diversity.
Meanwhile, on the catwalk, it reclaimed some of its own history. The Burberry check, made infamous 15 years ago when the “wrong” types were papped in it, was back big time.
The spirit of eclecticism ruled. Light, charming and luxurious, it had plenty of attitude.
The Burberry customer can’t ask for more than that.