Burberry Prorsum Menswear Fall Winter 2013 Milan
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The minute I took my seat at the Burberry menswear show my cell phone vibrated. Surprise surprise, there was an email from Christopher Bailey with a subject line that read "I ♥ Classics". The social media savvy designer had just hit me with a personalized email with a link to “follow our behind-the-scenes live social stream on your mobile before the show starts”. It was another new and ingenious way Burberry has found to engage with its audience and pointed to a brand that is continuing to excel in the online universe.

But it was that subject line which really peeked my interest. Would this collection be about a return to a more classic (read commercial) style for Burberry after last season’s embrace of metallic high-octane hues?
Yes and no.

The show started off safe with black or gray two-button suits, tan trench coats, and camel overcoats worn with light sweaters over crisp white shirts. Staple Burberry items for sure. But it was the accessories that hinted at a show that would turn towards the power of animal magnetism for its sartorial punch. Bags came out in a clever mélange of the famed Burberry check and tan zebra stripes, leopard spots covered the shoes, and plastic sunglasses (lens et all) also got the animal print treatment. Not surprisingly the style moved from the accessories onto the clothing with a few full blown cheetah spotted coats, or the more reserved option where they popped-up on lapels.

But as ideas go, animal prints have been seen before. A bit more daring were the semi transparent latex raincoats in interesting shades like milky white, purple, and smoked glass brown that gave Burberry just the right amount of louche attitude. While the heart print tops and sweaters, inspired by emoticons, was a fun way to incorporate modern technology right into the heart of the brand. 

- Jessica Michault

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