The Burberry Menswear January 2016 that just took place in London makes the problems of a culture fascinated with its own depression rather evident and that depression comes from the saturation of things to see. Such diversity has turned into de-differentiation and the result is boredom. In this particular show, even the clothes colours have been sublimated into the audience and the room. Everything is brown and Bordeaux as if the whole universe has become a Burberrys Pret a Porter piece. Thus, the clothes are not an evocation of what brings joy to life but become that very thing that brings joy to life. The faces are telling because no one seems to be particularly enjoying himself or herself. On one side there are the models who are serving/performing and, on the other, those who are being served. In other words, it is as if the world itself has become a catwalk where one is not even allowed to walk, just have a look and only when told so.
In my opinion, this is the first time when fashion appears as an optical machine where even the gaze of those who are gazing is staged in order to direct our own gaze. The architectural analogy of this is the ICA Museum in Boston designed by DS + R Architects where the building does the watching for the viewer. It is the building as a viewing cyborg that relieves the viewer from the burden of having to decide what to watch.
Thus, in the Burberry show, four members of the audience become the main characters of the show because of their clothes but also because they are beautifully ‘viewing’. In other words, they become models because of how good they look at being excluded instead of how they look. There is also a colapse of watching and getting bored that pushes to the fore the complete ennui of a generation that does not know what to do with itself. J A T