I recently had the pleasure of stopping by the Burberry Makers House following their fashion show in February. I had been meaning to get some of these pictures up sooner, but alas, travel got in the way and the house has long since closed its doors for the season.
For a second time, Burberry took over the considerable space on London’s Manette Street for their fashion show and subsequently opened up for public access to not only the full collection, but also workshops, a pop-up version of the flagship store café (Thomas’s Café) and work by sculptor Henry Moore, who was the inspiration behind this season’s collection.
While I don’t typically consider myself particularly fashion interested as my own tastes are more rooted in classic menswear, I can only applaud the decision to offer this kind of access which is normally limited to the overly trendy crowds that actually attend the shows. Even if the clothes aren’t your cup of tea, the space itself is a well designed experience and a chance to learn more about the inspirational processes behind a seasonal collection and in this case, the wonderful work of Henry Moore.
While one can argue that exclusivity is perhaps one of the key brand aspects of a major fashion brand like Burberry, throwing the doors open like this (and investing the considerable time and money into transforming the space) and letting everyone explore the clothes or even spot Christopher Bailey himself walking around doesn’t make the brand less upscale; or cheaper for that matter.
Rather, it gives the average consumer a chance to explore the brand beyond a typical glossy ad and appreciate the craftsmanship and thought that goes into the clothes – which is precisely what makes it all the more valuable and exclusive. So while I don’t care for most of the clothes, the menswear enthusiast in me can at least respect the craftsmanship that is on display and commend the brand for dropping a considerable bit of the usual fashion pretense.
Hopefully Burberry will continue to host these events for future seasons and you’ll likely be able to find me in the cafe, where I’ll drop a bit of my own #menswear pretense and go face-first into the cakes.