Virginia Woolf’s forward-thinking novel, Orlando: A Biography, the tale of a poet who switches genders and lives through several centuries, has inspired many a creative thinker. Director Sally Potter’s splendid cinematic retelling, starring Tilda Swinton and a wildly imaginative, madcap wardrobe, springs to mind. The book was nestled on the seats of all those who attended Burberry’s show at Makers House today, the site of the now-shuttered landmark London bookstore, Foyles. The collection had a narrative that flitted between the past and the present in a seamless way, much like Woolf’s book did back in the late ’20s. Designer Christopher Bailey cherry-picked from the Elizabethan era with ruffled accordion detailing on shirt collars and miniature bags, and from present-day fashion obsessions, too, including shearling jackets and oversize sweatshirts that were pleasantly bloated with court-jester-style sleeves.
Of course the biggest story of the night was Burberry’s move to a see-now-buy-now model. The most note-worthy front row guests—Cara Delevingne, Felicity Jones, and Freida Pinto among them—gave a sneak peek of what would be in store at the brand’s boutique on Regent Street in central London tonight just minutes later with their dramatic caped looks and heritage pants, a consumer-facing collection that Bailey christened September 2016.