Influential Fashion Designers Report
The fashion brand Burberry is known for its iconic trench coat, squared pattern and natural color selection. Coming out of Britain, the fashion powerhouse has extended its manufacturing past the trench coat and now offers a large collection of fragrances and fashion accessories, such as scarves, shoes and belts.
While the famous trench coat that many associate with the Burberry brand was created by Burberry’s original found Thomas Burberry, the iconic pattern that tends to define the Burberry look came much later.
Thomas Burberry invented gabardine in 1880, the fabric used to construct most trench coats. Gabardine is very tightly woven fabric, and therefore repels rain (remember, the trench coat is actually a rain coat, not just a fashion item!) Gabardine is breathable, lightweight, and doesn’t crease easily. Soldiers wore trench coats, made by both by Burberry and Acquascutum, over their uniforms in World War I; the shoulder straps were for insignia and rumour has it that the D rings were used to attach hand grenades. “The classic World War I-era trench coat was double-breasted, with four buttons, reinforced shoulder or gun flaps, straps at its sleeves, a buckled all-around belt (with distinctive brass “D” rings designed to hold one’s water bottle, hand grenades, or sword), slotted pockets, and an adaptable collar. It was typically lined with wool.” -Fashion Encycolopedia
In 1914 Thomas Burberry also widely known for his namesake brand Burberry invented in World War I a weather-proof trench coat which was modified to include shoulder straps and D-rings for the British soldiers.
It is said that the shoulder straps were for the attachment of epaulets or other rank insignia while the D-ring was more for the attachment of hand grenades. The ring was originally for map cases and swords or other equipment to the belt. This latter pattern was dubbed ‘trench coat’ by the soldiers in the front line. Not much later the fashion industry took pleasure at its turn-down collar, the wide reveres and its waist-belt which became an essential item until now.
Roberto Menicetti was born in Buffalo, USA, in 1966. He comes from an Umbrian family of tailoring magnates from whom he has acquired his own factory in Umbria, Italy, which now manufactures Burberry clothing. From 1992 till 1998, he worked as assistant designer first to Claude Montana and then to German fashion designer Jil Sander to develop some of fashion's most innovative weaves. In early 1998 Menicetti joined Burberry, the traditional London fashion house. He designed their Prorsum lines for men and women. He has succeeded in updating Burberry from a provider of London tourist clothing to a world-class fashion house. He stayed for 3 years with Burberry, and left them in mid-2001.
Roberto Menichetti's Look
He blends feminine and sportif elements for his collections. Some of his creations are handpainted leather jeans, maxicoats, and knee-high high-heel boots. He uses vegetable dyes, as well as boiling Burberry's trade-mark check cotton in coffee to get a better patina.
Roberto Menichetti's 2001 Collections
Roberto Menichetti not only wants to update Burberry's image; he is intent on propelling the label into the future by exploring the interaction between classic notions of elegance and cutting-edge materials.
Menichetti kept frills to a minimum, working with a restrained palette of pale gray, navy, beige and putty; roomy safari coats with chic tunnel belts were thrown over sensible shirts and trousers in "stretch" and "carbon," new fabrics that maintain the body's temperature. But technological fibers met their match with fine boiled cashmere turtlenecks, wool gabardine wrap skirts, and milk-soaked leather overcoats and motorcycle jackets. Menichetti also showed a couple of large-cut blazers that revived a...