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Burberry Stages an Intimate Fall Show As it Shifts the Focus to Consumers

Editors and buyers sat on soft velvet benches to take in the grungy-yet-ladylike collection.
A look from Burberry's fall 2016 show. Photo: Imaxtree

A look from Burberry's fall 2016 show. Photo: Imaxtree

Burberry has been among the first fashion brands to take steps to remove the curtain and bring the show to the customer, not least by changing to a "see now, buy now" show format that will start from September onwards. Of course, that's not to say consumers couldn't get in on the action this time: if you didn't livestream Monday's show on Fashionista or Apple TV, it's all over the Internet — and the entire collection will be on display in their London Regent Street store this week.

But as the massive power brand works to appease editors, buyers and now customers, the vibe at the actual show was much more intimate. Although the brand retained its usual huge venue in Hyde Park, gone were the stadium seats, the huge track cameras zipping over the audience, and capacity appeared to be reduced tenfold. Soft velvet benches snaked around the catwalk, and British singer Jack Bugg crooned in the center as the show's requisite live act.

Unsurprisingly, Edie Campbell opened the show, and set the tone for a moody collection, with elements of the "ladylike grunge" trend we've seen consistently this fashion week. Glittering diamond-print minidresses sat chic-ly under Burberry's signature trench, this time reworked in an emerald green python with deep navy lapels. We saw oversized, pointed '70s collars (another big trend of the season), and a truly covetable pair of flares with a snakeskin tuxedo stripe down the side. The textures were key – metallic brocade shined particularly bright under an oversized shearling aviator jacket, with yet more colored snakeskin trim. The bright python skin was a key element — adorning Bailey's new signature bag, The Patchwork, and peeking between pleats in silk dresses.

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A punk element came in the form of accessories and beauty. Lace tights, and envy-inducing chunky boots (in — you guessed it — colored snakeskin), messy hair and smudged gold eye makeup made every girl look ready for a rock show, even in the most elegant of dresses.

The menswear was a little more questionable. Bailey sent his boys down the runway in far more casual fare than usual: zipped track jackets, sequined trousers (!) and sneakers with every look. Usually, the menswear blends seamlessly into the womenswear at a Burberry show, but this time it definitely stuck out. Is the Burberry man the type to wear sequins and sneakers? Only the sales will tell.

Overall, the show lacked the dominant "theme" we've come to expect from a Burberry collection, but that will likely work in the house's favor. The mix of glimmering dresses, beautifully cut wool outerwear and sure-fire hit accessories can only serve them well this season.