This week in the corner of Manette Street in Soho is a place where I would suggest anyone who is a fan of art to go to. The Burberry Makers House, the brand’s pop-up show space that drew over 20,000 visitors in last September after London Fashion Week, is back to introduce the creative director Christopher Bailey’s new collection and showcasing some of the iconic artist Henry Moore’s most famous sculptures “alongside his working models and maquettes”.
This spring the late English artist Moore, who is best known for his semi-abstract bronze sculptures, inspired Burberry’s second see now – buy now collection.
Moore (1898-1986), who was born in Castleford, Yorkshire, started his education in 1919 at the Leeds School of Art (now Leeds College of Art) and in 1921 won a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London. His work was often inspired by the landscape and hills of his birthplace as well as the human body, and these elements of nature can be seen in Burberry’s new collection as well.
Moore rose to fame in the 1940’s during the Second World War. The people who were hiding in the London Underground during air raids, as well as the whole setting with the holes of the tunnels inspired him in his sculptures and ‘shelter drawings’, that he was commissioned to create more during his time as an Official War Artist. In 1946 the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York held an international retrospective of Moore’s work, making him a globally known artist who’s work can be admired in “hundreds of galleries, museums and public places in 38 countries around the world”.
Moore’s work is strongly visible in the brand new February collection. Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey said the sculptor has inspired him all his life, and in this collection he wanted to add three-dimensional form and sculpture into the clothes, as well as use different textures. In Makers House there is a ‘Burberry Inspiration Room’, where you can get a “glimpse into the methods and creative techniques behind the new runway collection”. This was one of my favourite areas of the Makers House, where I visited yesterday.
On the ground floor of the Makers House, which is open for public until this Sunday, 27 February, there is a gallery of Henry Moore exhibition posters from around the world, an exhibition (The Cape Reimagined) of 78 couture capes introduced on the February runway, that were inspired by the scale and form of Moore’s sculpture. There is a ‘Runway Presentation’ of the new February collection of both women and menswear.
On the first floor you can get a glimpse of the technical work behind the collection in the Burberry Inspiration Room as well as you will get an opportunity to explore the working methods of Henry Moore, with the collection of “drawings, found objects and large-scale sculpture showcase”. On the first floor there is also a Portrait Studio, where you can take a fun portrait of yourself or with a friend, and “immerse yourself in the world of the new runway collection”.
After strolling through the Makers House, you can stop for some cake and tea at Thomas’s, a pop-up of the Regent Street flagship stores restaurant on the ground floor. Or if you are hungry to learn more about Henry Moore, sculptures and the making of the collection, you can join in a workshop.
This Friday (tomorrow!) at 7.30pm and on Saturday at 2pm there are also Burberry Acoustic live performances that are free to attend.
I could have spent the whole day at the Makers House. I think it took us two hours to go through the exhibition and take portraits, but I could have been there for hours more. The Cape Reimagined exhibition was full of stunning pieces that I completely fell in love with (I have a soft spot for everything a bit sparkly…), and being surrounded by Moore’s famous sculptures was an amazing experience.
I hope the Makers House will return in September, as it is such a great way to understand the hard and creative work behind the pieces that are showcased on the runway. Visiting Makers House was a very exclusive and rewarding experience, and I am looking forward to return there tomorrow to join in two events.
Burberry Makers House 1 Manette Street London, W1D 4AT Opening Times: Tuesday 21 February: 12-9pm Wednesday 22-Monday 27 February: 10am-9pm