Now that the Burberry show - always the highlight of London Fashion Week- is over, so begins the wait until September when the A/W '10 collection actually hits the shops. Or not. In fact, Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey has decided that for a limited time (until the end of this week – 26th February) you can buy selected pieces of the range from their online shop - and they will be delivered within 6-8 weeks!
Yep, while the newspapers are still full of the celebrity pile up that was the front row and the clothes – a blindingly brilliant collection of covetable millitary coats and flying jackets (WANT), sumptuous draped jewel coloured dresses and rock-sexy moody hued python totes - are fresh in women's minds and on their wish lists, it’s time to jump onto your computer and get choosing from the 18 coats and 33 handbags that have been made available to buy during this narrow window of time.
This represents a major development in the way we all think about, and consume clothes rather than a one-off gimmick (it is Burberry's second season of offering clothes to pre-buy straight after their catwalk presentation). All the signs point to the future of retailing taking this form. Henry Holland, who collaborates with Blackberry, created an ‘app’ which allowed fans to buy one of his latest slogan t shirts on the day they debuted on the catwalk. Vivienne Westwood too has caught on, making the rubber boots by Melissa from her show available now.
Rather than the 6 monthly cycle of Spring Summer then Autumn Winter that has marked out the fashion calendar in years gone by, brands will be able to use the internet both to broadcast their shows, (rather than keep them for the eyes of press and buyers alone) which will create and maintain demand, while pieces from each collection will be available to buy earlier and earlier.
This can only be good for brands, who have long had to accept the fact that high street stores will be able to have clothes on the shop floor far quicker than their own production can turn around – and copy their catwalk pieces while they are at it.
Burberry, though 154 years old, is at the forefront of the democratisation of fashion with regards to the live streaming as well. Although massive demand to watch the live streaming in the UK meant the system did not run exactly according to plan, elsewhere at five simultaneous private events in New York, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo and Los Angeles, Burberry fans were able to enjoy the show in 3D in real time, (kitted out in their ridiculously stylish 3D wraparound glasses of course).
Although, getting your mitts on the clothes themselves is of course, the ultimate 3D experience - we'll beat you to that Shearling Funnel Neck Aviator Jacket!
- Naomi Attwood