Britannia Rules: Mario Testino Captures the Burberry Revolution

Britannia Rules: Mario Testino Captures the Burberry Revolution

Photographer Mario Testino captures Christopher Bailey's historic see-now, buy-now Burberry collection—marking a dynamic 15-year collaboration.

Photographer Mario Testino captures Christopher Bailey's historic see-now, buy-now Burberry collection—marking a dynamic 15-year collaboration.

Photography: Mario Testino

Styling: Paul Cavaco

Text: Priya Rao

When Burberry’s Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Bailey, announced that the British house he joined in 2001 would move to a see-now, buy-now schedule starting in September, it shook up the fashion ecosystem in one swift move. Hours after the announcement, Tom Ford said he would present his Fall collection—typically seen six months earlier—in September as well, and Ralph Lauren revealed their own consumer-facing plans mere days before their runway show.

“We knew the changes we were going to make would allow us to build a closer connection with our customers,” says Bailey. “Our shows have been evolving to close the gap between when you see something on the runway and when you’re physically able to experience it in-store for some time, so this new format felt like a natural next step.”

The designer also adopted a seasonless mentality to fashion. “It often felt slightly superficial to be talking about an Autumn/Winter collection when it was 90 degrees in a third of the shops we sell in,” he muses. “We are a global company and the world doesn’t have one weather pattern.”

The clothes themselves effortlessly move between past and present. Elizabethan-era ruffled shirts were offset by military jackets, while oversize sweatshirts boasted sheer sleeves. “It all started with this house I have in Yorkshire from the 1600s, which I was trying to put Wi-Fi in,” explains Bailey. “What should have been something relatively simple became a big ordeal because the walls were so thick. It got me thinking about all the people that had lived in that house over the last 400 years—what they did, what they wore. And it reminded me of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Biography, which is basically about time.”

As for Bailey’s decisions impacting the bigger fashion picture, he’s quite modest. “I wouldn’t want to guess where this is going to take the industry, but it feels right for Burberry to be pioneering this new way of interacting with our communities,” he says. “There isn’t a right or wrong way of doing things, and part of the excitement lies in not knowing exactly where these changes will take us.”

Shop Burberry's runway collection here.

FROM LEFT: JAZZELLE WEARS SHIRT BURBERRY TANK, BRA, JEANS HER OWN ON LIPS BURBERRY LIP VELVET IN OXBLOOD FRANK WEARS JACKET AND SHIRT BURBERRY JEANS HIS OWN BRAINA WEARS JACKET BURBERRY JEANS HER OWN ON EYES BURBERRY GOLD TOUCH IN GOLD SHIMMER JUSTIN WEARS JACKET BURBERRY JEANS HIS OWN YSAUNNY WEARS JACKET AND DRESS BURBERRY JEANS AND EARRINGS HER OWN ON EYES BURBERRY EYE COLOUR CONTOUR IN ROSEWOOD AND JET BLACK
FROM LEFT: VAS WEARS JACKET AND SHIRT BURBERRY JEANS AND BRIEFS HIS OWN TAYLOR WEARS ROBE AND SHIRT BURBERRY JEANS HER OWN ON EYES BURBERRY EYE COLOUR CONTOUR IN MIDNIGHT AUGUST WEARS JACKET AND SHIRT BURBERRY JEANS AND PIERCING HIS OWN CUBA WEARS JACKET AND DRESS BURBERRY JEWELRY AND TIGHTS HER OWN ON EYES BURBERRY EYE COLOUR CONTOUR IN OPTIC WHITE ON LIPS BURBERRY KISSES IN ROSE BLUSH
Credits: Makeup Yadim (Art Partner) Hair Christiaan Models Jazzelle and Justin Fuentes (New York Model Management), Frank Nadolny, Braina Laviena, vas, taylor allard (Ford Models), Ysaunny Brito (The Society Model Management), August Gonet (Fusion Models), Cuba Tornado Scott (Women Management) Manicure Gina Viviano (Artists by Timothy Priano), Set design Andrea Stanley (Streeters) Production GabE Hill and Roger Dong (GE Projects) Digital technician Jakob Storm On-set retoucher Liam Black Photo assistant Alex Waltl Stylist assistants Nicolas Eftaxias and EJ Briones Makeup assistants Mondo Leon, Janessa ParÉ, Aya Watanabe, Mami Iizuka  Hair assistant Takuya Sugawara Manicure assistant Shani Evans Set design assistants Colin Lytton and Nanse Kawashima Location Canoe Studios

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