I have said it before, and I will say it again until the day, if ever, it becomes untrue. Burberry is the standard in British Fashion, they have been and I honestly believe will always be the precedent. That is not to say that there aren't any other British fashion houses that consistently hit the ball out of the park, take for example, the bespoke tailors of Saville Row. Burberry, however; does it right from beginning to end every single time, backwards, forwards, up, down, all spun around, and I can't help but fall in love over and over again.
Burberry Makers House was an event organized by the fashion label as a way to bring 'seasonless fashion' also known as the collection called: September, straight to the public market. This is probably one of the most untraditional types of advertising campaigns, to come out of a celebrated label, seen to date. To actually let the public take part in this event, to see, and, for those who live in savagery, touch the clothing. The project showcased what is easily classified as some of the most diverse forms of art and creation that somehow all came together and nurtured the line concept in the precious mind of Mr. Christopher Bailey for Burberry AW 16.
From the intricate art of sculpturing, to the freedom of ancient calligraphy, and the abstract nature of poetry reading, the only art form that immediately screamed Burberry was the leather craftsmen sat at a table hand making leather keychains and belts with needle and thread. However, somehow in some stroke of genius that previously could only be dreamt of until now, Burberry made this cohesive atmosphere of art, love, creation, inspiration, and the purest type of happiness possible, right here for the public to view.
When you are discussing traditional v. non-traditional marketing and advertising it is important to understand the standard you are then basing something off of. What makes Makers House different is that, yes it is a picture show the same way that traditional window displays are. However, where Burberry made the consumer a crucial part of the event, window shopping often makes the merchandise feel out of reach, un-touchable, and far too luxurious to the average consumer.
Window shopping puts consumers in a position to feel out of touch and or even unworthy of the names printed on labels of dresses displayed in windows at places like Harrods and Selfridges. But that is in itself the concept of luxury, available to those who can afford it, or those willing to make it affordable for themselves. Without realizing sometimes companies who use traditional advertising methods, like so, are shooting themselves in the foot. Or that is what they were aiming to do in the first place especially if that's the name of their game. Burberry, in an attempt to break into the public market broke down the barriers of glass windows (not to say they aren't also displayed in Harrods' store front) and allowed everyone to feel like they were a part of the creation and the craftsmanship that went into this collection. They brought a luxury label to the everyday shopper and it was worth it.
When one of my courses tutors, Demetra, introduced us hungry fashion students to the concept of abstract advertising mechanisms, I felt like for the first time I met something that I never knew could have existed. Yes, they say that is what makes it good advertising, something that is obviously trying to sell you something, but you are so childishly oblivious to it. That was what Makers House was to me. The opportunity to see something, I previously could only see from pictures on the internet seemed like a gift to me, when in actuality they really want money! This is not me telling you that it's a sick form of coercion. This is me recognizing that anything can be art and business all at once in so many ways, which in a creative industry is a very important lesson to be learned, that being the value of your work and your time, and how that translates monetarily.
Too make my way through the entire event house, it probably took an hour, to an hour and a half when all was said, seen, and done. Me being me, I had to take a minute or forty to sit down next to the clothing, on the dusty pink cushions that lined the dusty pink walls of the upper floor. In front of me was an olive green parka, the floral patterned fabric it was made of actually rivaled my grandmothers couch in New Jersey, except this one in all the shades of green in olives and leaves on trees. Before I knew what was happening and what came over me I was sending my Mom a text message, that was something along the lines of, "...this is the most beautiful city in the world, thank you for making this possible for me." I'm not sure if she was crying in that moment but I was, because there was the most overwhelming sense of joy that shot through my veins in that very second that I didn't actually feel like I was me, or I was here, or that this was all real. I told you I cry a lot here.