Burberry SS16 Backstage by Portia Hunt

The breakthrough came last week from the checked British behemoth’s Christopher Bailey– the all-round Burberry lad- CEO and Chief Creative. All this was not supposed to be a tiptoe manoeuvre as not to wake the entire fashion reign, contrary, it was a bitch slap. Bailey’s mutiny is actually compelling the fashion system to rethink its policy and plan how to get by in today’s do-or-die critical climate- the second thing is disclosed subtly-. Burberry has announced a change to its runway and retail calendar and will show its womenswear and menswear conjointly twice a year- February and September, during London Fashion Week- and collections will be immediately available for sale. With the gender issue in an uproar these days, Burberry’s top dog combines business with a cultural (r)evolution. “The change we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collection themselves” says Bailey. Well, it sounds as a safe assumption more than a convincing one.

Money outweigh everything else- sorry, I did not find any other way to blurt out what lies beneath in my opinion!- In the last months of 2015 the brand-name has recorded the worst downward trend since 2012 with a loss of 12% and this comes as a financial expedient, mainly, not- as stated- to deliver a more genuine customer engagement- customers have already the stimulus and attention they deserve!-. Live streaming, tweets, comment-posting, hashtags are all tools that empower people- not pros in this specific case- to have an active involvement in the fashion industry. Even Tom Ford– who did decide to present his AW16 in September- is going to follow suit. “In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to customers, is an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense. We have been living with a fashion calendar and system that is from another era” Ford himself revealed- I think we will survive- hey hey!- the four-month wait, Tom! But we appreciate the effort.

To delete two of the four runway shows means not only a sizeable saving- coordination and management of the events- but, combining it with a faster availability of the merchandise- producers immediately give the dummy to the mass market’s babies-, boosts a depressing way to envisage fashion emotionally. The Buy It Now trend- or trick?- is able to wipe out the peculiar features of fashion design: the emotional response to products, firstly. To make something accessible in a short while is like creating a product already debased, the wait gets emotions stronger. It’s a too rational fashion, shorn of its magic and incalculability but, these are the- new- rules of the game. Long live the disenchantment of the world! Who can blame it? This is capitalism after all.