It’s safe to say that something is getting Christopher Bailey down. Eschewing his normal perky indie rock, the designer chose to open his show with the melancholy tones of Dusty Springfield’s ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ and a torrential rainstorm backdrop.
Was this a message to the critics who had lambasted his Spring/Summer collection, those who had rained on his parade?
One of the gimmicks of this live streamed show is that you can purchase a selection of the coats and bags online immediately. (The show was streamed on Burberry.com live from the show space using new technology to enhance the viewing and instant purchase experience, as well as on over 180 online sites globally).
Indeed, this was a pretty coat and bag heavy show, with just a small selection of knitwear and tops on display. The Sixties-influenced outerwear ranged from the cropped and fitted to the over sized, sometimes engulfing the slender models, and in a variety of finishes and colours. Plaid, Puffa, plastic, wool and fur were all thrown into the mix - a subliminal plug for the bespoke Burberry trench service perhaps? The house check briefly resurfaced recoloured on scarves.
Maybe the justification for dispensing with the precepts of season was the added cost of the shearling, astrakhan, and mink details that littered the collection, also occasionally appearing on bags, hats, and knitwear. You might even pay off some of these jackets by the time you get to wear them.
However, this is a collection that felt entirely British and innately Burberry and suggests that, despite his previous wobble, Chris Bailey is back on track and doing what he does best. Covetable, colourful pieces which, despite the heavy investment, will stand the test of time.
Guests at the show in Milan included Burberry Chief Executive Angela Ahrendts, British model Cara Delevingne (who features in the brand’s Spring Summer 2011 ad campaign), Burberry Acoustic musicians George Craig (One Night Only), Johnny Borrell (Razorlight) and Johnny Flynn, actor Douglas Booth and Isaac Ferry all of whom wore Burberry.
A/W 2011-12 Milan menswear catwalk collections reviewed by Lee Clatworthy.