Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Christopher Bailey has well established the importance of a single brand classic; coinciding with a single brand image he has constituted a fundamental aesthetic to the Burberry house. Eliminating the commercial and common label it once was he has creatively dispelled the melancholy 'stylists' (if they can even be named that) and detonated a modern brand fixated on the new, the young and the heart-stopping luxury. The Prorsum line commemorates the essence of London fashion and has become a golden heavyweight of the fashion industry, with shows witnessed addictively from capitals crossing the globe; its no wonder Bailey induces hysteria.

With regards to his S/S 2011 show, a progressive and reforming style is yet to be found. Contrasts became predetermined and uneventful; 'classics' are clearly being overworked. Overworked to every extreme. However, that’s not to say I disliked the show, so many pieces I adored but shown in the collection they way they were posed the idea that editing was evidentially lacking.

Was it new? Not particularly, was it overworked? Most probably, but it most definitely tugged, pushed and pulled me. Most probably as it focuses on so many levels of my own style. Perhaps this is what Mr. Bailey preferred; to reach people he knew instinctively would love it, based purely on their own style. However, in doing so you lose the importance of fashion; to be new. An extensive amalgamation of everything in one presents difficulty to focus on anything and Bailey's constant reinvention of his classic trench has to be new. It has to be different. Otherwise, we get bored, countless times has trench after trench been shown on his catwalks, that’s not to say I don't absolutely appreciate the importance of classics. But it has to remain progressive and push fashion in a new direction and not be over-used.

Yet, escaping from the portrayal of the collection as a whole, many pieces exploded with brilliance and dazzled me. Lurid leather trousers were expertly padded upon the outer thigh and knee; these were twinned with short, nip-waisted leather jackets. Some included strong and rugged quilting at the hips whilst the arms and shoulders became structured and defined in padded curves down the arm. Others glowed in vivid acid-green which only intensified the explosive amount of neon-toned spectrums. Cropped double-breasted jackets leaked black patent sleeves and exposed a suggestive and stirring leather skirt, with modern curved padded panels seen earlier on jackets now was structured up the length of skirt reaching the hips. Toned-down day wear in cold nudes mirrored the military theme but was instilled and sharpened with angular belts in luminescent tones.

The respectably predetermined tough and soft approached undoubtedly became apparent. With dresses which were ruched in more modest tones of silk. Colours such as taupe, distilled aqua, deep navy and pearlescent grey were typically contrasted with crumpled black leathers. Most of which were padded with smaller squares but others attained a more restrictive approach appealing to the more casual consumer. A biker jacket was elongated to form a stunning coat which indicated the importance of the investment pieces. This became more apparent as an equally refined trench was woven in bounds of stripped white leather which was even more recognizable as it was lacquered in a patent sheen. Metallics were altered this time, from many other shows and were quilted, printed, seamed and structured in trousers in blazing, reflective silver, no doubt stunning at night. The silver metallics ignited the inferno once more as silver set aflame another biker jacket, this time paired with strewn ribbons of ruffled material, releasing more disheveled eveningwear.

As if Bailey had not already summoned a hypnotic manifestation to want, want, want, this elusive feeling was soon ruptured yet again with spikes. Mr Bailey knows me too well. Golden spiked studs ruthlessly adorned the shoulders and upper-arms of trenches like a mechanical skin. Whilst still remaining whipped, nipped and tucked at the waist with large tropical snakeskin belts. The leather trousers were redefined; again, with a more waxy coating. Stripped snakeskin weaved down in leggings, that was until, leopard arose. Ravenous stripes of leopard prints were summoned on tops, with leather trousers bedecked in spikes and studs which could most likely be termed under weaponry. Snakeskin and leopard separate is fine. Together? That’s where the downfalls begin to crack. A nude snakeskin biker emblazoned with miniature metallic shards seemed more than enough alone - I should mention these studs are erupting left, right and centre. However, teamed with a leopard dress was exploiting the term ‘tasteful’. Having said that, the dresses themselves, and the jackets alone were stunning. With additional patent stripped leggings and violet, cobalt and olive leopard prints on dresses began to drain this theme. The last look just appeared too intense after everything that had come before. A whole biker jacket studded to the nth degree (surprised they didn't engross the damn model). The jacket was a dream – if too much.

I can imagine this is a collection some will love, some will hate. Exhausted and exasperated from every angle, it was good, it was great, but it turned equally savage and too determined to make a point. Sometimes its healthy to let classic pieces breathe, rather than smother them beneath the seasonal route that comes fashion's way. It’s clear this show got me talking, for good and for bad. Burberry has still got me, but for how long?

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