Filmed as a dramatic cinematic trailer, Burberry’s holiday 2016 campaign film will keep you glued to the screen as soon as Lily James, Dominic West, Domhnall Gleeson & Sienna Miller make their appearances. Dubbed “The Tale of Thomas Burberry”, thus named after Burberry’s founder and inventor of gabardine, Burberry’s holiday 2016 campaign film was also filmed by an equally A-list director, namely Academy Award-winning British filmmaker Asif Kapadia, as well as styled by award-winning makeup and hair stylist Jenny Shircore.
Touching and intense, the short film sees actor Domhnall Gleeson starring as Thomas Burberry, Sienna Miller as the founder’s first love, Dominic West as Burberry’s patron Ernest Shackleton, and Lily James as a fictional character based on the female record-breaking pilot Betty Kirby-Green.
The campaign film, released to pay homage to the British house’s 160th anniversary, gives us a historical perspective of the events that led Burberry to become what it is today, i.e. one of the world’s leading luxury brands. It tells us the story of a young Thomas Burberry, whose visionary approach to fashion changed the industry forever.
Through Gleeson/Burberry’s point of view, we discover the label’s original weatherproof fabric, the notorious gabardine, utilized by West/Shackleton in his expeditions to the Antarctic. Along the way, we also get intimate with Thomas Burberry, as we follow him around while falling in love with Sienna Miller first, and Lily James soon after. Thomas Burberry’s waterproof gabardine let, in fact, people like Shackleton explore the Antarctic, as well as aviators such as Kirby-Green flight all over Europe during the Second World War.
“This Christmas, as we celebrate our 160th anniversary we wanted to tell the story of Thomas Burberry – pioneer, inventor, innovator, and the man behind the iconic trench coat – in our own words. The film we have made is a brief glimpse inspired by his full and extraordinary life, which threaded its way through the history of the twentieth century in all its tumultuous highs and lows,” Burberry Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Bailey said in an official press note.
“We feel very proud to be sharing The Tale of Thomas Burberry this Christmas – his spirit and his vision are still at the heart of everything we do at Burberry today.”
Those who love to get closer to even deeper historical approaches to fashion, will be pleased to see how carefully and thoughtfully director Kapadia displayed Winston Churchill’s battles against dictator Adolf Hitler, as well as how Thomas Burberry reacted to the horrors of the war.
To better transpose that decade’s feeling of dismay and fear, as well as to further embrace the fashion house’s past, the film was shot at Shirburn Castle in Oxfordshire and featured vintage staples brought from Burberry’s archives.
Sadly, Burberry’s holiday 2016 campaign film is ‘just’ a trailer, even though many, including Burberry fragrance’s brand ambassador Lily James, wish someone could make a long film out of it.
“I want there to be a full movie,” said James in an interview. “And with the amount of footage we shot, I’m sure they could have made a film. We invested in the characters, and it was shot like a normal film.”
Photos courtesy of Burberry