“This season's woman is the Bloomsbury girl,” explains Wendy Rowe, make-up artist for Burberry. “The collection was inspired by the Bloomsbury group's home, Charleston, and artists such as Duncan Grant. They used to hand paint all of the furniture in a very free-spirited way, so it’s a bit Boho.”
Burberry comes steeped in the same British heritage the imbued the Bloomsbury group, dating back to 1856 when Thomas Burberry produced his first raincoat at the age of 21. The A/W14 collection captures a bohemian edge through flowing drapery, hand-painted swirls and irregular hemlines that elegantly channel the writers and artists who inspired the collection, including Virgina Woolf, E. M. Forster and Vanessa Bell. Their presence ignited a sense of passion and madness amidst the appliquéd lace trims and floral watercolour patterns that were sent down the runway: dresses and scarves ran down the models like Impressionist streaks, cinched in by thin belts and worn with shearling jackets, blanket shawls and Victorian-style boots, caught somewhere between exotic explorers and Virgina Woolf hovering on the riverbanks of Lewes.
“I created a painted eye that almost looks like they’ve done it themselves, with no proper shape,” said Rowe. “In a continuation of the hand-painted spirit, I wanted the wash of colour on the eyelid to look like a brush stroke. I kept lashes bare with no mascara. The finished look gives the feeling of haunted innocence.”
Text by Mhairi Graham