#81 Burberry Prorsum Spring 2009

I’m a big fan of the heritage and backstory behind iconic British fashion house Burberry. Established in 1856 by 21 year old Thomas Burberry, the business flourished as an innovative manufacturer of outerwear. Thomas Burberry invented the durable and waterproof cloth we now know as gabardine in 1880, fashioning it into coats for explorers. In 1914, the British War Office commissioned Burberry to create a new kind of coat for its soldiers, and thus the trench coat was born. The coat looked so good it soon found favour with civillians and the rest, as they say, is history.
Now in its 152nd year, Burberry Prorsum (Latin for future) is still at the cutting edge of the clothing industry, though now better known for its luxury appeal than its strength and durability in extreme conditions. For this season, entitled Crumpled Classics, designer Christopher Bailey infused the clothing with an air of the vintage, in washed fabrics that gave the garments a lived in feel. What is old is new. Bailey was quoted as saying that the collection was all about outerwear – trenches, coats and jackets. So it would seem that the future suggested in Burberry’s name lies in looking towards the past for inspiration. And, considering the company’s history, that doesn’t seem like such a bad place.
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