London’s biggest fashion show – indeed the single most important reason major league editors and buyers come to the season here – is the catwalk display of Burberry Prorsum, the hugely successful U.K. label’s key collection.Indeed, with the possible exception of Chanel in Paris, this is now arguably the most glamorous show on the planet.
That inevitably means that pre-show hype and expectations are pretty major, though on Monday, Sept. 19, in London the house’s chief creative director Christopher Bailey comfortably lived up to them with an audacious, ethno-biological collection of raffia n’ roll, a pathbreaking display that was both a sure-fired commercial hit and an innovative take on contemporary dressing.
“The starting point were block print textiles by Henry Moore. Lots of people have been saying they show was ethnic, which is fine. But that was not quite the origin. It was more meant to be about celebration,” explained Bailey backstage.Nonetheless, the broken patchwork wood block prints clearly echoed Africa, as did the colorful beading, worn around necks as trim and most smartly as ankle straps on a great footwear choice.These prints rippled through the clothes too, most spectacularly in mauve linen trench coats, dissected by Balinese style belts, and a few stunning cocktail dresses with elaborate bows.
One of his coolest ideas, seen in previous Burberry shows, but with greater effect here, were wooden pattern beading and bugling that gave a raffish African air to military blouses, mini parkas and sleek trenches. Bailey varied the silhouette with skill and aplomb – razor sharp in a raffia trench with a Napoleonic collar.The models also evidently dug the clothes, jauntily marching by with their heads topped by Dolly Bird straw and raffia cloche hats, finished by woolen baubles. And, if there was any doubt about what will be the shoe of next spring it ended here with the latest catwalk covered in wedge platforms.
Topped with raffia, based in Sahara motifs and finished with mini straps, they had sass and a jaunty sexiness about them that was great.If Bailey, historically, had any weakness as a designer it was as a draper. But this season he got that very right with some elegantly cut, floral, rouched cocktails with bows that flattered for their off beat opulence. One or two were a tad chunky, but it was impressive to see this highly accomplished designer – whose tailoring is so assured – on such a rapid learning curve. – Yahoonews