“Will you still love me tomorrow?” belted out Claire Maguire, the latest choice from Christopher Bailey for the live music at the Burberry show. The song, originally sung by The Shirelles back in the Sixties, strikes a poignant note about what it is like to be a fashion designer today.
Next! Next! Next! The sheer volume of looks to churn out is overwhelming. And not each one can be a winner.
So many things were good about this Burberry show: the rich colours, the layers of textile effects, the craftsmanship of embroidered leather boots, the jollity of swinging fringe.
It all came out very hippie luxe from the Seventies, although not to Christopher.
“The Seventies, I didn’t think that,” he said with a puzzled frown. “It was about the idea of working on different crafts, beautiful quilts from Durham, handcraft in this wonderful digital world we work in.”
And it’s true, Bailey has tried very hard to bring Burberry into the hi-tech world, with live screenings, social media and so much more. You can even buy clothes online straight off the show.
But to my eyes, this collection was obstinately stuck in and derivative of Seventies style…
Yes, the fringing and the blanket shawls were far more upscale than the originals gathered on the hippie trail. The honey-ginger fur coat, the ponchos and the bags with long fringing were nothing to do with thrift-shop finds. The mirror textiles did not look as if they had been imported from India.
Floral dresses in Bohemian patterns were glam, even risqué, when a bodice was cut out in a swoop at the front.
But Burberry, the brand, originally took quite a different route: tailored military clothes and that famous trench coat of which there was not a whisper of a memory here. Haute Bohemia was never part of its history.
Bailey said he found the idea of blending different cultures “inspiring”. But maybe he forgot Burberry’s own.