Here We Are – Burberry comes to Clerkenwell
20th January 2017
A couple of weeks ago iconic British fashion brand, Burberry, took over an impressive 18th century Grade II listed building just around the corner from our St. John’s Square showroom. Celebrating Britain’s diverse culture and Burberry’s latest collection, the ‘Here We Are’ pop-up exhibition at the Old Sessions House showcased a wonderful collection of work from some of the UK’s best documentary photographers alongside the clothes that they inspired. From the 1960’s race riots to 80’s Oxbridge parties, Burberry’s President and Chief Creative Officer, Christopher Bailey, said the collection provided ‘a portrait of British life, in all its nuances, both exceptional and mundane, beautiful and harsh.’
I managed to pop down on the last day of the exhibition and absolutely fell in love with both the photographs and this beautifully disheveled Clerkenwell landmark and so I thought I’d show you around…
There was something so uniquely charming about the space. A grand domed-roof foyer, apparently modeled on the Pantheon in Rome, gave way to smaller rooms reminiscent of majestic Georgian and Victorian houses, high ceilings, ornate coving and slightly battered original wooden floors. Light flooded into big rooms with impressive sash windows and trickled into others, creating a really interesting flow that enticed you to explore further. The chipped plaster walls were like art in themselves, layers of colours and textures showing the character and history of the building and providing the perfect vibrant backdrop to the predominately black and white imagery.
One of the stand-out rooms had a selection of Burberry photographs projected on the walls, each changing every few seconds. I quickly found myself mesmerised by the everchanging images. There was something really beautiful about being able to faintly see the wall’s scuffs and scrapes behind these high fashion shots.
The Old Sessions House is currently being renovated. Wandering around I saw new pine doors and skirting boards that did slightly detract from the charm of the old place, although I’m assuming there is still some work to do. It will be interesting to see the space when it’s finished, I just hope they don’t mask the faded grandeur of this rambling old courthouse.