Burberry Hand Painted Its Fall 2014 Runway Bags

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There is something of a fine line between “art” and “art project,” and during the Burberry Fall 2014 runway show, the brand’s hand-painted handbags didn’t often stay on the right side of it. In a post-show interview with Vogue, brand head Christopher Bailey spoke of having studio staffers paint the bags, and the results generally looked like the product of hands whose primary job is not, in fact, painting things. A “back-to-basics” approach was clearly Bailey’s intent, but unfortunately it doesn’t make for bags that look particularly luxurious or expensive.

The collection also includes some bags with large swaths of Native American blanket-print textiles, which are light years more sophisticated than their painted counterparts, as well as some bags, all in the same elongated domed shape, which feature velvet embellishments. The vast majority of the bags were painted with oversized, amateurish flowers and leaves, though, and although normally I love painted bags, I wish Burberry, with its nearly infinite resources and influence, had tapped actual artists to do the painting like Prada often does; the results would have almost assuredly been no less earthy but light years more elegant.

[Images via Vogue.com]

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Therefore I very recently purchased a Burberry replica handbag or bag which I’m in love with. Burberry is one brand which I personally at least can’t justify buying a real purse from. Especially after I saw this documentary on Youtube where it showed Burberry deciding to transfer their creation from the UK (where they originated from — they’re a British brand for all those who don’t understand) to South Asia. As a business decision this makes a whole lot of sense as the proprietors of the corporation can now make their luggage for dirt cheap and enjoy maximum markups. However for the heritage of the new and in terms of the luxury radar it was a major mistake. Why would anyone in their right mind pay full price for a Burberry purse when you’re able to purchase a knockoff manufactured in the exact same country, and most probably in precisely the exact same factory for a far lower cost? At least companies like Louis Vuitton, Chanel etc. build their handbags in Europe to give it that sense of lux (although many of their components come from China as well!) . I feel like when I look at the tag of a handbag and it states “made in China” once I pay over a thousand dollars for this, I have been ripped off in a way. I personally support authentic artisanal craft particularly when it comes to leather and purses, for which I’m weak at the knees, but Burberry has definitely dropped the ball when it concerns the whole luxury factor surrounding their own brand. I can not get over the part in the movie where all the British Burberry craftsmen were worried about staying unemployed for the remainder of their lives following the factory was due to close.

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