With such a heritage-heavy brand like Burberry, I can only imagine the theoretical difficulties Christopher Bailey would experience in practically handling history. But his spring/summer collection for the house looked anything but difficult. On the contrary, it was an easy blend of class and contemporary, heritage that was anything but stuffy. There were the inevitable misses, of course: characterless trends that would look better placed on an, admittedly well-dressed, fellow at school, and the slouchy backpacks didn't help that cause either, however covetable and commercial they may be. Christopher Bailey is a master at creating desirable, clique-ish products for “it-girls” to flaunt around Instagram, as he exhibited last season with the monogrammed cape.
Trashiness, er, I mean trendiness, aside, the show was a generally respectable one, with the just right amount of creativity and commerciality for Burberry, and a far lower level of boring than I was expecting. The layout was poetic, the runway splitting into a circle to acquire a pitted orchestra in the center, which allowed the clothes to move gracefully in a slight curve. (Although it would have been more graceful if the models were not clunking around in bulky, flat sandals.) The flows of fine silk and lace seemed to embody the emotional wails of Alison Moyet, who topped the orchestra with her back facing the runway entrance. Her voice didn’t simply serve as a backdrop for the show, to be ignored like the usual techno-beats, but instead created a parallel plane for the clothes to exist on; completely English, but not completely traditional. All the usual Burberry elements were present, most ubiquitous of which being the legendary trench, but influences such as lace tank tops and sheer, long-sleeved shifts reminded me of the Italian Alessandro Michele at Gucci and Maria Grazia Chiuri & Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino, respectively. Perhaps this is an effort to become more than the trench, the same trench that has become the centerpiece of all advertising, campaigns, and collections, every single season, and, consequently, the center of Burberry. Burberry is the midst of a transitional period of escaping the tan-plaid grips of signature and stereotype. And this show was a step in the right direction: introducing new ideas while holding on to the legacy and its loyalists.
Photos via Vogue Runway.