Last night Burberry presented its largest-ever event, celebrating the opening of its new Sparkle flagship in Beijing. Sparkle though it did, the multimedia recreation of the house’s fall ’11 collection highlighted, cheekily, Britain’s famously poor weather with ample use of virtual rain, mist and snow. Technological wizardry, a notion synonymous with China, was clearly a focus of the show.
The entrance to Beijing Television Centre displayed iconic scenes of London while its cavernous space filled with over a thousand fashionistas jostling for attention. Christopher Bailey also managed to rope in Chinese icon Maggie Cheung, who was joined by actress Fan Bing Bing, MTV VJ Zhu Zhu, models Du Juan and Philip Huang, local rockers Super VC and a rice bowl of other Middle Kingdom celebs.
The show began with all-encompassing, large-scale displays screened on every wall. They featured animated models donning Burberry’s signature trench coats as they swung checked umbrellas and splashed about in virtual puddles. British darlings Jourdan Dunn, Edie Campbell, Cara Delevingne, Charlie France and Seb Brice were joined by Chinese model Qin Shupei for the presentation.
Impressively, the show fused hologram models with the real variety. When the holograms switched clothes, bursting into puffs of mist or flurries of snow, the audience gasped, as they did when actual snow fell on their finery. During the downpour, predictably, the trusty trenches appeared onscreen.
Then, giant digital suns beamed, the rays segueing into catwalks, and down these came tight backless bodycon dresses. Bailey was demonstrating that he can do wow-factor as well as weatherproofing. He then gave shy finale nod before the curtain fell.
Sadly in the glitzkrieg on China, the British band Keane underwhelmed the audience. Once the Chinese punters had uploaded photos to Weibo (China’s Twitter), they swiftly departed, leaving only models and expats to boogie for Britain.
Watch the video on YouTube.