London Fashion Week: Burberry Fall 2011 Show Homage to Jean Shrimpton

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Pictured: Jean Shrimpton in an evening dress photo by John French (1907-66), for London Town © Victoria and Albert Museum / V&A Prints

Some of my readers my be too young to remember 1960s British Supermodel, Jean Shrimpton.  The “Shrimp” as she was called was one of the first to popularize the miniskirt in the swinging ’60s. Jean was one of the first to bare her mid-driff, and she also had a little recessionista soul.  She once modeled and (allegedly) selected “Free and Easy Fashions for You to Knit” by Wendy Courtelle Knits.  I’m certain my mother owned several of those knitting pattern books. Jean claimed to never love fashion, and retired from modeling to run/manage the Abbey Hotel in Penzance, Cornwall.   She always claimed her wearing the miniskirt was a mistake, that it was simply a lack of  fabric that bought the whole thing about.  “The fabric company who sent me the material for the dress never sent me enough material,” she explained. “I said, `Nobody’s going to take any notice so just make the skirt a bit shorter — it was as simple as that. Then it caused this huge furor, which was really rather surprising.”
Pictured: Shades of Shrimpton at London Fashion Week today on the Burberry runway.  I could see the leggy Shrimp in this blue Burberry dress, sans newsboy camp. (photo. M. Hall via the Internet livestream.)
 Flash forward 46 years, and the lovely former Vogue model is still inspiring fashion.   Burberry Creative Officer Christopher Bailey showed Burberry’s collection at London Fashion Week today and titled his collection “Shrimpton” for Jean. I could see Jean’s style in the crisp, clean lines of some of the dresses and coats shown today. Jean was also known to wear fur and there were many fur accents and even dalmatian spotted newsboy caps on the runway.  Bailey’s other inspiration was the Burberry brands strong military heritage, particularly the coats. Burberry made military coats in World War I , giving new meaning to the term “trench coat.” Today, there were plenty of gorgeous fall/winter coats on the runway for both men and women in updated, trendy styles.
 Pictured:  Burberry’s updated military style on the London runway.  (photo. M. Hall via the Internet livestream.)
There were plenty of English tweeds, Burberry’s trademark double faced heritage gabardine and even lightweight cable knit wool silk jacquard. The updated military coat styles had details like woven leather buttons and unique leather luggage duffle fastenings (see the fastenings on the coat above.)  The collection colors were deep and rich dark tints of mustard seed, camel, honey, dark clove brown, dark amber, bright caper, dark caper, juniper, bright teal blue, primary red, raspberry, tangerine, white and of course black.  It was almost a perfect show, if only, yes if only those dalmation spotted fur newsboy caps had not been everywhere.  Sorry, I just didn’t like those–they didn’t add to the overlook in my humble opinion.  The staging for the show was completely brilliant with a rush of snow falling at the end, while Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” played and Christopher Bailey took his final bow.  Even more brilliant was the fact that the show was streamed live around the world on multiple websites in Piccadilly Circus and via over 40 global event at Burberry store venues.  It really was the People’s Fashion Show.
I’ll be looking for the collection at discounters like the, Gilt Groupe and even the Burberry store sales.  Look for discounted Burberry now at the Bloomingdales Big Brown Bag sale.  And remember, Burberry now has outlet stores.  I wonder if Jean Shrimpton ever shops there ? 🙂

Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.

1 Comment

  1. Aja@ Hard Money Lenders Los Angeles

    February 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Who would've guessed that the mini skirt, a major fashion trend, started because a lack of fabric? How funny.