In London there is yet another fashion house that I always look forward to seeing and that is Burberry Prorsum www.au.burberry.com. I always look forward to seeing what chief creative designer Christopher Bailey has visioned this time and how it then plays out into the current collection.
With this collection he certainly did not disappoint at all by creating a collection that was his interpretation of what the Bloomsbury set might have worn on their latest trip to their country retreat. This included the use of hand-painted flower motifs, used to great effect on many of the collection and some stunning fabrics and blanket shawls reminiscent of a Virginia Wolf moment but setting a new direction and trend at the same time.
The smudgy flowers, which were created in Bailey’s studio, were used as prints on scarves and silk crêpe dresses as well as appearing painted on lightweight silk cotton trench coats, and leather, suede and shearling coats, toggle belts and short boots with cinched in wastes that gave great definition and lines to the coats they were worn with. But this was not the only place that the idea of flowers was used it was also found in a more defined print of flowers and vines that wound its way across dresses — some with high waists and bows at the neck — as fluttery as summer nightgowns and not particularly Autumn inspired, although maybe it was the Asian, Australian market that he had in mind here because they would be hard to wear in the Autumn in Europe.
To keep his ladies from catching pneumonia in this delicate flowing dresses, Bailey had a stack of wool and cashmere blankets in stripes and geometric patterns. These were worn as shawls and they were also worked as blanket-inspired coats and jackets, again to great effect.
Bags came in tufted velvet and carpet-bag weave and were big enough to fit a few notebooks, pencils and paintboxes in them and were reminiscent of Mary Poppins and a bygone area but really practical as we seem to carry more and more things with us when we head out these days.
There were a few men’s pieces interspersed in the presentation of the collection and whilst the pieces were more muted and did not have the same amount of detail as the women’s pieces, the addition of silk floral and patterned scarfs around the shoulder and the use of large bags added a Bloomsbury tilt to the menswear as well. There was some colour in the inclusion of a silk floral print shirt and for me the stand out piece was the hand crafted long men’s black jacket that had some beautiful floral prints and the inclusion again of a long scarf worn to great effect under the jacket on one shoulder.
In all this was an inspired collection that fits well into the global brand of Burberry Prorsum and will have appeal in both London, Europe and the ever-increasing Asian market place.