Burberry Prorsum Autumn/Winter 2014
In part one of our exclusive look at Burberry Prorsum’s AW14 menswear collection, we provided you with unrivalled backstage access to the most anticipated showcase at this year’s London Collections: MEN, as well as an interview with Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey.
Here, in part two, we identify and explore the key influences and pieces within the collection…
Burberry Prorsum AW14: The Themes
The AW14 concept of ‘The Painterly Journey’ was executed through a number of key sub-themes in the show, which were the defining features of the collection:
A Love Letter to London Town
London and an innate sense of Britishness dominated as the primary theme; it was an appropriately patriotic stance from a brand whose design identity remains firmly rooted to its origins in the British Isles.
Map prints of the capital, used on silk scarves and shirting, were created in the spirit of vintage street atlases of yesteryear. Prints depicting imagery of celebrated London landmarks – including Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and Nelson’s column – were applied to lightweight silk neck scarves.
St. Paul’s Cathedral, woven into cashmere knits, further reaffirmed the brand’s connection with the capital:
The leaves of the Royal Oak tree, symbolising the ancient rural landscapes of England, were a motif used heavily throughout. With their rich orange and brown hues, they were a seamless tribute to the autumn season.
Flowering vine prints, inspired by Edwardian Arts and Crafts wallpaper, were employed extensively on scarves, outerwear and shirting, providing further visual interest:
Call Of The Country
The enduring style of the country and British sartorialism have always gone hand-in-hand; Burberry proved this for AW14, with its woven micro-tweeds and oversized equestrian blankets.
While retaining the hard-wearing and practical nature of country attire, the pieces were given a refined revamp, with the brand swapping traditional coarser yarns for fine, soft wools and cashmere:
Although the identity of Burberry’s collections are firmly rooted in its home turf, the brand consistently incorporates a hint of the exotic into its designs, to maintain a fresh and innovative air. AW14’s kilim and Andean geometric-weave bags and blanket scarves referenced the indigenous craft skills of far-flung lands.
The close of the show culminated with the models draped in linear-print blankets, which although thoroughly British in fabrication, evoked the spirit of the Inca warrior, reasserting masculinity in a collection that was intelligently juxtaposed with elegant silk scarves and intricately-woven bags:
Living up to its custom of delivering the most refined materials, Burberry used some of its finest and complex fabrics to date for the AW14 collection.
Lightweight silks and hand painted suedes and leathers dominated outerwear, shirting and scarves. Long-haired brushed mohairs, suede-back shearlings, double-construction cashmeres, patch work sheepskins, crocodile skins and cashmere fisherman weaves were all a lesson in luxury.
Scottish-woven jacquards, English wools and micro tweeds – used in coats, jackets and accessories – upheld the British standard:
The colours featured in the collection were appropriate and respectful for autumn/winter dressing, all the time remaining compelling and energetic.
Bottle greens, rich plum, Bordeaux, cornflower yellow, teal, dark tangerine and honey were coupled with classic shades of charcoal, navy, black, ink blue and camel:
Burberry Prorsum AW14: Key Pieces
As the creators of the iconic trench coat, Burberry remains a leading light in outerwear design.
This season’s materials saw a heavy bias towards luxe sheepskins, brushed mohairs and hand-painted leathers.
Shapes revisited the brand’s classic trench, while relaxed caban and Chesterfield coats in a variety of prints were central to the offering.
Stand-out styles included the sueded sheepskin trench, sporting heritage details including a belted waistline and gun and storm flaps.
The painted caban coats, crafted from grain leather with linear hand-applied patterns, and the silk-wool caban featuring landmarks of London were both strong references to the ‘Painterly Journey’.
Western-style fringed detailing on a cropped suede car coat and a shearling-lined biker provided a playful, edgy contrast to the more formal, avant-garde creations:
Bags were a core focus, and garnered attention within every look due to their intricately worked fabrics and impeccable construction.
The St. Ives bag, a new shape for AW14, reigned supreme in a number of guises. A double handled, zip-fastening tote, this oversized statement accessory was produced in British blanket fabrics, Moroccan kilim weaves and hand-painted abstract and impressionist floral designs in leather and suede:
Vintage-inspired silk scarves, reminiscent of the memento squares acquired by the 1960s European traveller, were a defining feature of the collection.
Accompanying the majority of looks, the scarves featured the collection’s signature London map and landmark prints, as well as vibrant and muted-tone florals.
Traditionally perceived as a feminine accessory, the scarves were styled with masculine aplomb, tied nonchalantly around the shoulders of outerwear in contrasting, clashing prints.
Other key scarf styles included draped cashmere and wool designs in bold checks, leaf and floral/vine prints, which were hung loosely from one shoulder beneath outerwear, lending a well-placed patterned punch to looks.
Wool and cashmere blanket scarves were also a strong presence, with equestrian and rug-style designs in foliage prints, checks, geometric and ethnic weaves adding further cultural richness to the overall mood:
Own A One-Of-A-Kind Creation
In a unique fashion befitting the brand’s commitment to a more intimate luxury experience, Burberry is offering its devotees the chance to personalise key ready-to-wear pieces and accessories from the AW14 collection.
The Runway Made to Order service on Burberry.com allows customers to add engraved name plaques to garments and bags, or to embroider personal initials onto scarves:
Also available for the bespoke treatment is the St. Ives bag. Offered with a choice of six iconic city skylines, clients can custom-create their own design by selecting a range of leather backgrounds. Woven and hand-painted St. Ives bags are also available, each composed with their own individual brush strokes and materials.
This exclusive service for the AW14 collection provides an opportunity for discerning dressers to own a one-off piece, months before the collection hits stores. Offered for a limited period, the Runway Made to Order service finishes on the 22nd of January 2014.
Under the gifted direction of Christopher Bailey, Burberry Prorsum is one brand that never fails to inspire and push the boundaries of creative ingenuity.
The AW14 collection with its homage to British heritage, plush fabrics and statement accessories, told the story of a London label that confidently knows how to set the standard.
Relaxed-fit outerwear in luxurious shearlings and jacquard wools, intricately woven accessories and needle-punch felts demonstrated the brand’s prowess with luxury materials.
Silk scarves, iconic landmark prints and painterly treatments all imbued a sense of bohemian androgyny, but were delivered with competent styling that reasserted the collection’s masculinity.
Already a hallowed assemblage, the AW14 collection is destined to go down in the fashion annals as one of the finest creative concepts to have grace the menswear catwalk.
Official runway images and footage courtesy of Burberry.
Backstage and event photography: Jonathan Daniel Pryce.
Video footage: Olan Collardy.
Video production: Bullfrog Digital.
Interview with Christopher Bailey: Luke Todd, Editor, FashionBeans.