Whenever you fall into the trap of believing something must be wholly new to be brilliant, you need only glance in Christopher Bailey’s direction to be swayed otherwise. In a world where reshaping existing ideas can be the most successful kind of brilliance, Bailey is surely King.
Last season’s cartography paved a way to calligraphy. You could almost see the forebearer of the book cover folios traversing the runway: the gimmicky classic-novel-as-clutch purveyed by the likes of Charlotte Olympia. But this was a distant, reinvented cousin; an elegant appropriation with a cultured backstory, kept at arms length from any pulpy, pop-cultural associations as you might expect from a menswear version.
Burberry Prorsum’s ‘Book Cover’ collection was inspired by novelist and travel writer Bruce Chatwin. Bailey cited a first edition of one of Chatwin’s books as his primary inspiration, while Chatwin’s nomadic spirit inspired the relaxed mood of the collection – a collection where sharp suiting worked in alongside denim jackets, sneakers and an array of floppy felt hats which lent the models a sort of cheery anonymity. A colour palette spanning rich teal and magenta to storm blue and saffron yellow was taken from old book covers: at times almost autumnal, and somehow very British.
With just a grand piano to guide his voice, upcoming singer-songwriter Benjamin Clementine belted out the words “London is calling you…” Travel being the theme as it may, but to Burberry, as to Chatwin, England is always home.
You can see all of the Burberry Prorsum spring / summer 2015 runway collection by clicking on a thumbnail on the left. From there you can browse through each of the pictures from the fashion show.