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Burberry unveils Virginia Woolf-inspired collection

Burberry unveils Virginia Woolf-inspired collection

Burberry opted for a high fashion twist on Victorian ruffles and floral prints for spring 2017.

The British label launched its first see now, buy now collection at London Fashion Week on Monday night (19Sep16), debuting menswear and womenswear lines together on the runway.

For the androgynous collection, creative director Christopher Bailey drew inspiration from Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel Orlando: A Biography, a tale of a gender-shifting aristocratic poet, as well as interior designer Nancy Lancaster's English country house designs.

“What I love about Orlando is that nothing is specific to one time or one gender,” Bailey told The Guardian. “It is a book about emotion and beauty, which is what I feel fashion is about.”

A star-studded front row included Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, model Cara Delevingne and actresses Felicity Jones and Lily James, who sat entranced by a palette of deep greens, earthy yellows and dusky pinks.

The show opened with a model wearing a navy military jacket with a white tie-neck blouse and striped trousers. Masculine and military themes continued throughout the procession, with highlights including jackets and deconstructed trench coats inspired by British military styles, ruffle-collared blouses, and tapered trousers in various fabrics, including silk, cashmere and denim.

The feminine side of Woolf’s Orlando was represented in delicate wallpaper-inspired florals and lace pieces for both men and women. Bailey interspersed the line with several casual shirts, with one male model wearing a pale blue satin pyjama shirt under a pale pink velvet blazer.

Other standout garments included a structured black sleeveless knit top, which had an Elizabethan style corset and peplum, and was worn over a striking dull gold dress and belted at the waist.

In a significant shift from the traditional retail mode, Burberry is making all items shown on the runway immediately available to purchase through physical and online stores on Tuesday (20Sep16), eschewing the traditional six-month wait from runway to store.

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