Burberry’s hand-painted coats inspired me to set myself a bit of a watercolour challenge.
One of the season’s most high-end and, at the same time coveted items, as Hunting in Heels asserts, it bucks the trend for cheap, mass-produced, breakneck-speed fashion that’s sold across the high street. The label that’s one of the most steeped in heritage and guaranteed A-list fashion darlings at the front row of every show made their statement of exclusivity through luxury fabrics and painstaking handiwork.
The handiwork part recalls an artistic romance of fashion that’s perhaps most vividly associated with the 1970s – dubbed the ‘me decade’ by Tom Wolfe – a time when fashion adopted handicrafts as an expressively individualistic paradigm. It also, in this case, provides a nice, convenient paradox for me: the labour-intensive part for which at least a part of the premium is paid becomes the part you can make at home for nothing. Sure, the trench I used was from New Look and, unsurprisingly, wasn’t real silk but the design that set it apart could be emulated, alright – or at least the idea.
It’s very hard to guarantee it because you do need a degree of painting ability but if you’re not especially confident in your ability to paint neatly or well, I’d recommend choosing a simple design and not worrying about perfection as Burberry’s designs tend to use a messy style.
It can only take an hour or two or, if you chose quite a complex design like I did, it could take 3-5 hours. It shouldn’t take any longer than an evening.