Like many of you, I was heavily skeptical about Burberry’s Fall 2014 runway bags. Many of them looked like hastily conceived art projects, painted in the brand’s studio by people who were clearly not painters by employment.
There is something of a fine line between “art” and “art project,” and during the Burberry Fall 2014 runway show, the brand’s hand-painted handbags didn’t often stay on the right side of it. In a post-show interview with Vogue, brand head Christopher Bailey spoke of having studio staffers paint the bags, and the results generally looked like the product of hands whose primary job is not, in fact, painting things.
Little Abigail Breslin is almost a lady now at 17 years old, and I think it’s safe to say she’s quickly developing her own ideas about fashion. Here she’s paired a classic tartan Burberry Canterbury Shoulder Bag with a flowing white full-length dress, a fitted black blazer, and what we believe to be Jeffrey Campbell studded wedges.
Here’s Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery, about to thrust herself into a waiting crowd of British paparazzos after exiting the Burberry Fall 2013 runway show. On her arm is a Burberry Prorsum Handbag from Pre-Fall 2013, and as is perhaps to be expected, her trench and pumps both look suspiciously Burberry.
No one puts together a runway livestream like the Europeans, and Burberry has set an extremely high bar this season. I kicked off my work week by watching the show yesterday morning, and from the setting to the attendees to the apparel, the entire presentation, from start to finish, gave the fashion world something to talk about.
During New York Fashion Week, I found myself chatting with the designer of a burgeoning men’s accessories collection about the landscape of men’s business worldwide. He had a lot of interesting things to say, most notably that men in America prefer satchels, men in Japan prefer totes and men in Europe are somewhere in between, but that Americans are becoming slowly more open to other shapes and structures. Ever since that conversation, I’ve tried to pay closer attention to the men that I see on the street, what kinds of bags they’re carrying and how those bags relate to their overall looks in general.
What I’ve noticed in the intervening weeks is that there are a lot more men carrying bags like the Burberry Large Washed Leather Tote in New York than I had previously realized. As with the idea of man bags in general, it seems as though specific styles that were previously more closely associated with womenswear are becoming palatable to a larger male audience. The bag-carrying male population in the US seems to be cautiously expanding its purview to totes. (more…)
Images via Vogue.com
In two ways, I always dread the Burberry show at London Fashion Week. First, because I know that Christopher Bailey’s beautiful ready-to-wear, and his outerwear in particular (THOSE COATS.), will threaten to drain my bank account all over again with one swift poke the the pleasure center in my brain, which apparently really likes wool. Second, because I know I’m probably going to have to write something unkind about the handbags. Both fortunately and unfortunately, Burberry Prorsum Fall 2012 did not break from that pattern.
The collection was yet another that made plenty of references to the Downton Abbey era, which is particularly appropriate for a brand that’s so utterly steeped in British heritage, both by its own marketing and by actual history. You would think, then, that we’d be in for an accessories feast of lovely whiskey-colored leather satchels and smart, ladylike handbags with lots of structure. Instead, we got big striped and quilted totes with limited personality and clutches with animal-head door-knockers on them. The few satchels in play were the highlight of the handbags, but even they seemed a little bit unwieldy in proportion to be carried. You’ll notice in the photos, though, that many of the models are carrying their bags while wearing stunning gloves made of colorful python or studded black leather. Why didn’t we see any of those ideas carried into the bags? It would have made for a much stronger collection. (more…)
Burberry Leather Wristlet, $1195 via Net-a-Porter
In my mind, calling a bag a “wristlet” is a precarious thing to do for a manufacturer or retailer. The word “wristlet” brings about a very specific type of simple, relatively inexpensive small accessory; personally, I use a wristlet to hold the small pharmacy that I carry around inside of my real bag. I wouldn’t ever pay a thousand dollars for something like that.
While the Burberry Leather Wristlet is, in fact, a wristlet like its name would suggest, it’s also one of the nicer wristlets I’ve ever seen in my life, and a full-fledged leather clutch with multiple structured compartments. Don’t let the w-word fool you, this bag is a lot more than just an accessory to your accessories. (more…)
Do you hear the crickets? Our Burberry category has been quiet for quite some time simply because many of the designs I’ve seen don’t wow me. Sure, Burberry is known for its nova check pattern, but after you grow tired of checkered bags, there isn’t much to lure you in. And then there’s another problem: some designs that we see from Burberry are just… weird. All of this makes me sad because Burberry is a brand I adore, especially their Prorsum line of apparel (the jackets are KILLER).
With that in mind, it brings me great joy to show you the Burberry East-West Buffalo Tote, which not only offers an elegant style but is also priced very reasonably. The little sliver of my hear that wants so badly for Burberry to succeed at handbags is jumping for joy right now. (more…)