Corsets and capes. It might not floor you to see these two things together on a Burberry Prorsum runway… But a corset and cape worn with naught else? That dropped a few jaws. For spring / summer 2013 Christopher Bailey created outfits that were simultaneously beautiful and sexy, revealing yet not.
Bailey cited Brittish photographer Norman Parkinson as inspiration – namely his 1940s pictures of women in corsetry. The vintage element was obvious at the London fashion week (LFW) show: in the Prorsum outfits of cocoon capes and shimmering ruched bodysuits, matched by siren-red lipstick, models became a modern vision of the classic femme fatale.
But then perhaps ‘modern’ isn’t the right word. Given how bold the use of metallic fabrics and how high-tech their construction, we’d lean to the word futuristic. Burberry’s collections tend to be clever reinterpretations of heritage styles, but this time it felt more like Bailey was imagining how the early 20th century might have imagined the future. A sort of Metropolis for the runway.
Up close the lingerie references are even more apparent: bustiers built into tuxedo jackets or corseted panels on trench coats (who’d have thought that in reinventing the trench coat yet again, lingerie-as-outerwear could get so blissfully literal?) and silhouettes are either femininly figure hugging or wildly voluminous on top balanced out by barely-there bottoms. And one more stroke of outerwear genius from Bailey: cropped Dutchess satin bomber jackets in the most romantic of dusty colours, arms chopped off to become capes. Marrying the bomber and the cape, two of the season’s outerwear staples? Clever indeed.
You can see all of the Burberry Prorsum spring / summer 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