Last night I had started a post about Burberry and didn't get round to posting it, then a remark that Looking Fab in Your Forties made today, about getting nabbed by the Burberry Police @ their Puerto Banus branch, for trying to photograph a 'sublime' plum coloured aviator jacket, reminded me that I'd dropped the ball.
The thing about Burberry as a brand, and Christopher Bailey as a creative force, is - this is strictly my own opinion, mind you - the way he can take a theme and just expand it, play around with it.. it's really worth looking round the site or better yet, if you can get to a store, just spend some time absorbed in his head. It must be quite a magnificent head.
For example: take these three looks, above. It's almost Emperor's New Clothes the way every brand, from high end to high street, took his aviator jacket as shown on the top left and scrambled to get their own version made - took the khaki & brown palette - and yet, when I was walking round the store, what captured my imagination was the SAME PLUM COLOURED AVIATOR JACKET - with the softest feathery 'shearling' collar - that Looking Fab almost got nabbed in a resort on the Costa del Sol, for trying to photograph.
And I don't feel he always gets it right. The top right one, for example. He's trying an idea, playing around with quilted parka material, which is going to be huge this winter, but it just doesn't do it for me, in that shape, with that dress. Is it just me? I mean, even the model doesn't seem comfortable in it, and no matter how thin one is, it's bound to chop them in half and making them look and feel.. chunky.
But then again, these jackets... I didn't dare try anything on, but I just stood there a while like a toddler, transfixed with playing with the zipper. I didn't even try to take the jacket apart into two pieces, just marvelled at the idea: for the mere price of £1,295 (over $2000.00!) you actually get two jackets in one: a short cropped navy, and a longer shapely silhouette (or, conversely, you could simply appreciate the craftsmanship and creative genius, then go on said holiday to the Costa del Sol for a week).
You know (or perhaps you don't) that pretty much everything on my post is my own photography (apart from recent self portraits which are usually from my non-photographer husband, Mr. Dot, who seems to like to start shooting before I'm actually ready to pose).
This time I'm making an exception, using photography from Burberry's own site. Thanks Burberry!
I guess what I"m trying to say is, from everything I've read and heard about the man, he lives quite simply, he's delightful, warm, friendly, not remotely a diva, and clearly has such fun and takes such joy in taking themes and just playing around with the ideas. He inherited a brand known for two things: tan trench style raincoats, and a certain plaid check pattern in rather dated colour scheme. He's almost made us forget it was All About the Trench, and now that it's All About the Aviator, what I'm getting all excited about is midnight blue wool pea coats, or again, that sublime Burgundy wool felt number. In one room, I was in the colour scheme I got all psyched for while on holiday in the Dominican Republic: the cool jewel like colours of the purples, with navy, olive green..
And while I know for most of us it's all about the shoes, I'm not even going to go there in this post. For once, altho I am so not an It bag girl - I haven't bought anything over £100 since my Coach days back in NY - I still have to marvel at the way he's kind of exploded the iconic check into all directions. He's like the Picasso of the fashion industry for me.
Perhaps his piece de resistence for me at the moment, tho, goes back to his Burberry roots. A trench. In white. MADE OF FREAKING FEATHERS. This is, for me, what it's all about. (And at nearly £3000, or $5000 USD, one could go on QUITE the holiday). He's taking a RAINCOAT, for goodness sake, and making it out of feathers. He's taking the piss out of himself, in a sense, and of his brand, while at the same time, making us look twice, and appreciate the beauty, the craft. I just can't wait to see what he does next!