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  1. Suzy Menkes
  2. Suzy Menkes

Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

Burberry: Divided by Gender

New round of male and female shows has already kicked off

23 Февраля 2016

Burberry, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Men and women — or should that be women with men? — walked separately down the Burberry runway to the melancholic music of Jake Bugg. 

So this was the breakthrough moment we were supposed to be waiting for: the meld of female and male clothes in one show to be offered instantly to viewers from September.

“And for the first time, the new collection can be seen in our Regent Street flagship store after the show,” came CEO Christopher Bailey's message, pinging in on our smartphones as the show started. “Can be seen” — but not yet bought — the message suggested.


Burberry, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Burberry, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

So we might have to wait until September, until the new system is properly in place. What struck me was not the availability of the clothes — although a beautiful tailored Loden green coat with scarlet button holes looked desirable considering the weather outside Burberry's tent in soggy Kensington Gardens.

It was one of many fine coats: in bold yellow plaid, as a navy jacket with extra-wide lapels, or with a hairy fur look. But why did Bailey make most of his offering the very opposite of the currently fashionable “gender neutral”?

There were a handful of women's trousers, worn with bright crystal decorated tops. But instead of daytime kilts or wool skirts, there were lamé or crystal-decorated mini dresses, clearly aimed at party girls. While the men had some urban casual wear —like gender-neutral zipper jackets with red or blue sequins — there seemed to be no real sharing of male and female closets. Except for the coats.


Burberry, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

Burberry, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

As if it were almost a fashion crime, Bailey admitted backstage that he had made some women's coats from men's patterns. “I don't really think much: is this for boys or is this for girls?” he said.

If women had to hunt for clothes for work that do not look overtly “masculine”, Burberry might have sent out more female looks with a hint of its army heritage. But the shows these days are predicated on glamour.

The front row had its usual Instagram lure with blonde Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and dark-haired Naomi Campbell divided by Mario Testino, who is about to shoot the new Burberry campaign.

I accept that change - especially in fashion - is good, but I would have liked to have more feeling that people of either sex who love Burberry would dress the same way and shop to suit.

Burberry, fall 2016 ready-to-wear

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