Adventuring from ancient cultures to colonies must have taken its toll on Christopher Bailey: his menswear collection for Burberry Prorsum autumn (fall) / winter 2012 lands us firmly back on British soil.
Replacing spring’s ikat prints and exotic Africana are heritage elements that epitomise the British gentleman. That much was clear from start to finish at the Milan fashion week (MFW) show, which was topped and tailed by an applause of indoor rainfall hitting the season’s stylish duck’s head umbrellas.
When the rain wasn’t falling those same umbrellas were carried in hand alongside document cases and hold-alls that will no doubt prove to be some of the most desirable of the season, understated yet entirely eye-catching in either block coloured leather or patchwork suede. In fact it’s the accessories that are really the crowning glory to Prorsum’s autumn offering: studded leather gloves, Fair Isle scarves, neck ties in polka dot, gingham or college stripes, and those classic flat caps that turn almost every model into a uniform chiselled face, all help to transform the very classic suiting into something more seasonal.
As for that suiting it’s back to being sharp and slim; though inklings of the relaxed tailoring trend find their way into some lightly rounded shoulders and slouch funnel neck sweaters that break otherwise pristine lines of an outfit with a deliberate carelessness. The two-button jacket is still the choice for suiting, though here the top button is rising away from the waist; a marked difference to what we’ve seen from other designers.
Outerwear – the Burberry Prorsum staple – took many forms from bomber jackets in hand knits or waxed cotton, to voluminous down-filled car coats and riding jackets, to the mandatory trench.
While the English gentlemen theme may be far from a new one – particularly for a heritage brand like Burberry – Christopher Bailey is the king of bringing a fresh angle, a new twist, to each season. In the past that’s been about amping up the rock’n'roll vibe or playing to the toughness of biker leather, but ironically fall 2012 is fresh because it goes back to something old. Abounding with hunting and equestrian references, collegiate themes and heritage fall colours, this is a collection that could feel stuffy. But the newness is in the execution, in the styling and accessories, in the modern slim silhouettes. Even to those for whom spring’s exoticism was a little too daring, Burberry Prorsum autumn / winter 2012 should prove irresistible.
You can see all of the Burberry Prorsum Autumn (Fall) / Winter 2012 men’s runway collection by clicking on a thumbnail on the left. From there you can browse through each of the pictures from the fashion show.
Photographs courtesy of Burberry