Through the Looking Glass

With 10 hours to go, I have come to realise that we are now less than 24 (now 12) hours away from the Burberry Spring/Summer 2018 show and I have yet to figure out when and how to post these photos that were taken from the February Fall/Winter 2017 collection. 

Indeed, I am light years behind these 'see now, buy now' collections and have involuntarily allowed them to overtake myself since the deadline has naturally been pushed forward (6 months earlier, to be exact). They really do not kid when they say that the fashion industry races fast and I have spent the previous month focusing on photography and written work here and here.

It would make more sense to base this post on what is to come from a prediction point of view. Yet again, I have the privilege of time to discover that what is to come for Burberry Spring/Summer 2018 is an exhibition titled "Here We Are", entirely based on photography with collaborative titles such as Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy and British model Blondey McCoy. And the new show and exhibition location is set to be at The Old Sessions House, a grade-II listed venue in Clerkenwell Green, 1.3 miles east of the previous year's Makers House, which was once (contain yourselves) a courthouse.

Scanning through Burberry's website gives us great clues: a suggestive GIF (perhaps of the disassembly of Makers House), several works of documentary photographers Dafydd Jones and Martin Parr, a list of events including talks and acoustic performances by the artists themselves, and an ingenious plug for the digital app which is to accompany the exhibition.

In my previous post, I have spent some time delving into the concept of time and, much like many others, doubting whether the new marketing strategy will be pushing commerce too far beyond creative borders and, in so doing, result in a brand that adopts a model to sell rather than to express. It has taken me one year, or two seasons, to put into a sentence that what Burberry is attempting to push to their audience is not simply in the form of an item (the trench coat nor a cashmere check scarf). Even though that is something the masses have amassed to recognise the brand for, Burberry owes its previous success and pitfalls to that.

Fast forward to 2017, Burberry has enlisted former Céline chief Marco Gobbetti to take on the role of new Chief Executive this coming July 2017 and Christopher Bailey will assume the role of President. Whilst I much preferred Ilan Eshkeri's Reliquary composition especially 'Reliquary 1: Cantus Firmus' of its polyphonic composition, Fall/Winter 2017 had the pleasure of the raw, chromatic vocals of English singer Anna Calvi belting out alongside The Heritage Orchestra. Above all, those familiar with the works of English sculpture artist Henry Moore would appreciate that this Fall/Winter 2017 collection was one of Bailey's more conceptual collections. The show invitation even came in the form of a stone plaque and the show finale of capes (of all shapes and sizes including the magnifying glass on the thumbnail) was an ode to Moore's curvaceous sculptures. As described by Moore in a tapped recording, 

Sculpture design is about finding meaning from sketches and the understanding of materials... its composition and the ability to visualise. Where does it start or end? Size against scale? Art is a process of gradual perfection, as is how you live.
— Henry Moore

Photography & Writing by Jocelyn Yih