Brand Review – Burberry
Back in 1856 Thomas Burberry founded a completely revolutionary and now one of Britain’s most iconic brands. Obviously when we think of Burberry we think ‘the classic trench coat’ or perhaps ‘THAT tartan’, but what people often forget is that we owe more to Thomas than we realise. He started using a new fabric called gabardine, which ultimately made fabric waterproof. Later he was commissioned to design officers coats during the war so they were suitable for the conditions – hence the birth of the trench coat.
For me this basic coat summarized everything that Burberry is. It was born from a need for something with a purpose, played a part in winning the war (well it helped…) and then became a fashion essential. It has story and character that has never been forgotten. Internationally ‘the trench’ is owned by Burberry. If you wear a trench, it should be Burberry, who would bother with another brand? This ownership has allowed Burberry the chance to completely dictate how our trench’s should be, with leather like in Autumn/Winter 2011/12 or jewel coloured as in Spring Summer 2013, and for me I am happy for this historical British brand to do so. People are drawn as a result of this one piece to look at everything else Burberry has to offer making it easy for them to attract customers.
Above: Burberry Autumn./Winter 2011/12 Below: Spring Summer 2012
Having a brand like Burberry that takes huge influence from Britain and keeps true to its roots is something that I admire. Burberry, as British as it is, has managed to capture the hearts of people from all around the world. Even looking at Autumn/Winter 12/13, where accessories have adorable animals heads on them, people have ‘got it’, they understand that this is a truly English brand and buy into it. The ‘It Bag’ of the season was ‘The Orchard Bag’ which is a nostalgic appreciation for British apples.
Autumn/Winter 2012/13 Animal Head Clutches
Autumn/Winter 2012/13 Orchard Bags
The British vibe runs throughout the brand and revolutionizes old fashioned things into a cool, sophisticated and elegant pieces. This has built up a huge celebrity following, also helped by the use of cool young people in their campaigns like Emma Watson, Cara Delevighne and Eddie Redmayne. Burberry is for all ages, anyone who wants quality and knows good style.
Emma Watson, Alexa Chung, Eddie Redmayne and Cara Delevighne
When Christopher Bailey took over in 2001 as creative director, he never forgot Burberrys roots. Throughout each season it is clear that not much needs to change. Why remove everything great about a brand, when it works so well? Of course the military theme will always be there, the trench will be there, the warm mood of a winter collection and a fresh, often futuristic vibe of summer (like spring summer 2010).
Burberry Spring/Summer 2010
Having various labels, Burberry Brit, Burberry Prorsum, Burberry London, Burberry Sport, and even Burberry Children alongside a range of beauty products and of course ‘Body’ has allowed Burberry to push itself into every aspect of our lives. Christopher Bailey said that Burberry dresses the same women in all aspects of her life from the different lines. She can be cool and relaxed on weekends, tailored elegance at work and of course high fashion, Burberry is there to make her life easy, not too complicated with all clothes wearable. All ages can easily take on the Burberry look, it is guaranteed style and completely timeless.
WHAT FASHION IS TO ME
“One is never over- or underdressed with a little black dress.”
The Little Black Dress is so important it has been personified into a classical character of fashion. It symbolizes the simplicity at which style can be mastered and shows that whilst trends change, only true pieces with character can endure the cycles of time. To be able to realize what is classical and bring fresh life to it is how fashion truly evolves. I think fashion is so much more interesting when something has a constant that each designer has changed and made their own.
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s in a Givenchy Little Black Dress
It takes skill and knowledge that only true passion can teach you to be able to keep the life alive in such an icon as the LBD. I do not think fashion is about making something completely new every time, if it was we would be surrounded by so much randomness the constraints of normality would no longer exist which would contradict the whole point of fashion. I think it does definitely need to be full of new ideas but should not scare you off. It needs to seduce you. For me fashion should be comforting, it is an effortless expression of you. Blending in is as much of fashion as is standing out. Having the power to allow people to express themselves, rock a look they dream of and make a fashion storm, is what being a fashion designer is to me. Fashion is art with functionality as well as purpose. It is investing on the outside of the body to reassure and enhance the inside.
Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman in a little black dress by Marilyn Vance-Straker
MY TRENDY CITY – LONDON
Capital of Great Britain, home to over 8,173,800 people spread over 33 boroughs London is at the heart of a nation of proud British people. Crazed with Union Flags this summer from the jubilee and Olympics, British people have been more patriotic than ever which has lifted the spirit of a very worried city. Having been bombarded with negativity and concern of the economy the monochromatic attitude has been softened with people beginning to see life in colour again, even if it is predominantly red white and blue… London has always been a hub of affluent industry so has attracted people from all ages and also all countries with an estimated 30% foreigners living here. Having always been known for its distinct boroughs, the recent influx of an increasingly diverse population has only emphasized each areas characteristics, which has influenced all aspects of life for example recently opened Azerbaijani restaurant Baku on Sloane Street which is opening people eyes beyond the French, Italian and Chinese food that we love.
We are also obsessed with our dogs, here is mine who embraced the jubilee and olympic spirit also :)
Where as other cities have all over styles, London is very liberal in style. Anything goes. Many students provide the crazy borderline tramp-esque style, as a direct result of the various fashion and arts universities. The graduates tend to be aspiring to look as professional as possible with heels all round, and individual style, verging away from the classic business look, introducing more colour and becoming more groomed. Men are yet to embrace the meterosexual look, which I do not feel will take on anytime soon in London, but verge towards old fashioned tailored quality, not surprising as the worlds most renowned street for menswear Savile Row is in London. If you analyze any Londoner it can become clear where they may be from – cropped tailored trousers, blouse, fur gilet and designer pumps and Harrods bag in hand and it is likely they will be residing in Chelsea somewhere off the Kings Road, home to quintessentially British people. In contrast go towards Brick Lane and vintage, quirky, individuality style is prominent. This is because of the trendy Brick Lane and Spittafields market where one off exclusivity is what matters most.
Alexa Chung, one of fashions most loved style icons of course from London
London Eye at night and Harrods, my all time favourite shop <3
Being such a diverse city all over there are hidden places that can get overlooked. Notting Hill is a really cool place where no matter which shop you go into, you feel just cool. Home to many celebrities this is one of Londons most desirable locations. Beach Blanket Babylon is a restaurant that takes you to a completely different world. With elaborate nautical decoration it is an escape from the regimented city life and is an example of the creativity and eternal youth vibe in London. Every year the Notting Hill Carnival is another example of just how multicultural London has become and how people are learning to embrace new cultures. There are parts of London that are just timeless. The Victoria and Albert museum, the Royal Academy both display such beauty and inspiration. Carnaby Street is another example of how from all times this street has been a fashion landmark in London. Offering less mainstream options, people go there to feel the youthful and original vibe. Hidden off here is the Ice Bar by Ice Hotel which is a subzero bar. Near by is Mayfair, where some of Londons best clubs and bars are like Sketch and Mahiki, if you go out in London, these are where you will have the best nights and almost guaranteed to see someone famous… Trying to be as different as possible is the attitude London takes. It is not about conforming but trying to branch out and be noticed.
Ice Bar and Beach Blanket Babylon
Victoria And Albert Museum – my favourite museum in London
London is one city which does not mind ignoring major fashion trends. Do not expect to see the latest Haute Couture anywhere because here it is about mix and matching without being flashy. Style for Londoners is trying to be elegant and chic whilst retaining modesty. If one thing people of London do it is exactly what they feel like doing.
Henry Holland, Matthew Williamson and The Kooples are some of my favourite British designers because of their amazing colours and youthful relaxed style