Last week, Burberry premiered its latest collection at a Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’ inspired fashion show at Makers House in London’s Soho area, unifying the two visionary forces of fashion and fiction on the runway. The androgynous assemblage calls upon a new reality comprised of the past and future- a kaleidoscope of real classicism in junction with creative energy and spirit, inspired by the “longest and most charming love letter in history.” Written in 1982, Woolf’s feminist classic tells the tale of a man who transforms into a woman and experiences society driven perceptions of gender norms. The gender fluid collection brought Orlando’s world to the runway, blurring the line between the sexes through combinations of “noble and authentic fabrics, blending denim and sweatshirting with cashmere and pyjama silks” inspired by layers of time.
An ephemeral synthesis of fashion and literature, the ‘seasonless’ collection reflects a strong message of emotive beauty marked by its revolutionary rupture from traditional fashion norms. A runway is very much like a visual display of rhetoric, embodying a language of its own. Although fashion is in a constant state of flux, it can be foregrounded in fiction to create a rich, intoxicating world built on inspired creation and consolidation of the past and the future.
Written by Jasmine Ashoori