The Burberry Makers House has returned for another season to showcase its latest collection and inspiration, which this season is the late British sculpture Henry Moore, and you can see his work alongside the beautiful Burberry clothes. I gushed a lot about the Makers House in September, if you didn’t see check out my blog post, then it was dedicated to British craftsmanship and this February’s edition is all about the Henry Moore’s inspiration and process.
Last year, it felt like a brand extension, everything pointing back to Burberry, not a bad thing it is their pop-up space and collection, this time around it felt like a fully-fledged exhibition, something that maybe the Victoria & Albert museum would put on. It doesn’t just showcase the clothes, it examines the way a designer label puts together its collections, from the initial inspiration to the explanation of how pieces were put together, as well as a look at the art behind the clothes, the sculptures of Henry Moore.
The whole exhibition, which might I add is free to view, is mesmerising, especially the entrance section, The Cape Reimagined, some of the Burberry capes are more like pieces of art that fashion, and I totally fell in love. It’s the capes of this collection that totally blew me away on the catwalk, the collection was already a bit of departure for Burberry, I love this more romantic aesthetic with the looser silhouettes of the classic trench coats to the choirboy ruffles, the delicate lace embroidery, and the oversized shirts. I’ve felt for the past few seasons that Christopher Bailey has just been going with the flow, this fashion week he showed his creative brilliance, and I adored it.
Burberry – The Cape Reimagined
All the glorious capes, all 78 couture capes from the Burberry catwalk show are all on display, each one more beautiful than the next, all inspired by the scale and form of Henry Moore’s elemental sculptures. What I adored, not only the beauty of the pieces, but the fact that underneath each was a little information on the craftsmanship and history of the design, from how they were made to how long they took and even how much fabric was needed. For instance, the feathered beauty, each piece took 15 hours to embroider, while the smock velvet cape is articulated in 30 metres of chantilly lace and tulle, and the looking glass piece of art is made from more than 170 reclaimed looking glasses, which have all been hand-sewn onto metallic paillette embroidery in reference to Henry Moore’s use of found objects.
Each piece is handmade, available for special order, and described by Burberry as collector pieces that “represent the very essence” of the label. Plus these capes will be going on a tour, visiting Burberry’s flagship stores in Paris, Tokyo and Los Angeles.
Henry Moore: Inspiration & Process At Makers House
The week-long exhibition features 40 Henry Moore sculptures, monumental bronzes, drawings and maquettes, including the Working Model for Oval with Points seen above, as well as a whole wall dedicated to Moore’s found objects, and reconstruction of his studio. I found it so interesting to be able to discover the man and the works that Christopher Bailey was deeply inspired by for this collection, as you can clearly see it throughout the pieces.
Open until February 27, the exhibition will also hold a number of workshops and events including printmaking, textile printing, life drawing and a wax resist watercolour class, as well as live acoustic performances.
At Burberry, we are always fascinated by the making process, where it is hidden and where it is revealed. Images of Moore in his studio, the stripes of his apron, the tools of his trade, the artist at work, ended up feeding into the collection itself – Christopher Bailey