Tremors in technology are transforming the way people consume fashion, and now, seismic changes are afoot.
Instead of sticking to its usual annual calendar - turning out seasonal collections, then showing them in the fashion capitals of the world before they debut in stores months later – the fashion industry is fast moving to accommodate the new mindset.
Over the past two seasons, brands including Michael Kors, Proenza Schouler, Fendi, Versace and Tommy Hilfiger have made selected pieces available directly after their shows, while others such as Tom Ford have announced adjustments in their show schedules to accommodate the shift in consumer behaviour.
One of the forerunners in this new game is surely Burberry, where creative director and CEO Christopher Bailey has kicked off a “See Now/Buy Now” revolution. This is a series of changes at the British fashion house aimed at today’s impatient, social media-savvy shopper that goes beyond merely livestreaming shows and reporting every moment on social media.
For one thing, straight after its Fall/Winter London Fashion Week show earlier this week, selected outerwear and accessories were made available for pre-order online.
That was a first for the brand, as was its move to make the collection available for viewing and pre-order at the British brand’s Regent Street flagship store in London until 27 February, and its Faubourg Saint Honoré store in Paris from 1 to 8 March. (Confirm your order by 7 March and you’ll receive your purchases in about 12 weeks - ahead of the collection’s in-store debut in July.)
Another groundbreaking move is planned for September, when the fashion world presents its Spring/Summer 2017 shows. That’s when Burberry will instead showcase its September collection. It will no longer hold “Spring/Summer” and “Fall/Winter” runway shows; instead, there will be the September and February collections showcasing womenswear and menswear together (just like at Monday’s show), which will hit stores and online in their entirety right after the event.
But back to this season’s collection, which was called A Patchwork and dominated by mixed patterns and prints, punched up with bright colours, sequins and military styling, and anchored by the Buckle ankle boot with a rasied heel and industrial tread.
Mid-thigh dresses recalled Carnaby Street in the ’60s, while men got sporty with zip-up sport jackets layered under coats - of which there were plenty, oversized or cut close to the body.
We especially love the new Patchwork bag, inspired by the Burberry trenchcoat’s buckle, which came in 64 different colour and material versions - for each womenswear look. It can be used as a shoulder or crossbody bag, and a clutch.
Want a piece of the revolution? Click through the gallery above to see the Fall/Winter highlights that you can pre-order right away.