It’s a pointless excersise trying to imagine what Christopher Bailey is going to do next. The best way to approach a Burberry Prorsum show is to go in expectation-free, sit back and wait to be blown away by the surprise change in direction that will no doubt ensue.
Spring 2013 illuminated the runway with metallics that hit without warning. Here were foiled coats in hues of blue and fuchsia so brilliantly bright you almost needed (matching metallic) sunglasses to look directly at them.
At first glance these might have seemed too bold, too glamorous for even the most rockstar of Burberry’s rock boy clientele. But Bailey is wilier than that, and in reality the collection’s metallics span from subtle details (like metallic collars on classic coats, or the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it metallic thread faintly visible in textured navy seersucker suiting) right through to the extreme. And up close the fabrics are pleasantly tactile: the metallic coats are actually treated from silk, the shirts a laminated cotton.
There’s also a supreme elegance to the collection woven through as an almost separate yet intertwined story. Art from the days of the Bloomsbury Set – specifically the art of Duncan Grant – inspired the abstract prints and 1920s/30s intellectual hipster vibe that permeated the suiting.
Burberry’s silhouette was lean on the lower half as always, with an emphasis on longer shirt cuts and voluminous outerwear up top. In the latter category you’ll find a quiet achiever that’s one of the collection’s greatest stand-outs: a sateen bomber jacket in khaki and aubergine with a leather throat latch. Go for this is you want shine, but not shimmer.
For the purpose of Burberry Prorsum’s runway show it was the metallics that grabbed the attention, that stuck in the brain and on the retina long after leaving the marquee. But go deeper and there was much more to it. As always Christopher Bailey has reinterpreted heritage to make it modern, and done so in the most unexpected of ways. And if gazing upon the bright Metallics was like looking into the sun, then the collection overall was like looking into the future with hat tipped to the past.
You can see all of the Burberry Prorsum spring 2013 runway collection by clicking on a thumbnail on the left. From there you can browse through each of the pictures from the fashion show.
Photography by Imaxtree