The Burberry Prorsum show runs with the smoothness of a well-oiled formula. That sounds like a negative – but it shouldn't. While all the young names uptown at the Sorting Office and Victoria House jostle for their moment in the vanguard's spotlight, Christopher Bailey continues to do what he does with confident ease. Always a large, airy tent; always a glow of unexpected midsummer sun; and always easy, softly drawn garments that reiterate the label's relaxed, familiar aesthetic.
This time, after the bohemian rhapsodies of AW15 and the pre-war nostalgia of the season before, Bailey fixed on a single material: lace. It's one that's rarely utilised in menswear, and which typically denotes childlike femininity. But translated into tea-stained beiges and washed off-whites, Burberry managed to transform lace into a convincing menswear fabric – whether as fine, flatly-cut shirts and vests, as stiff collar accents on outerwear, or as demurely sumptuous all-over treatments on knee-length peacoats.
After the rich colour palettes of the last few seasons, Bailey kept things simple with a swathe of neutrals – cream, caramel, fawn, toffee, sand. And that quietness made even the most extravagant surfaces sing, like the pinwheel floral-embroidered tuxedo jackets that closed the show. It may have been low-key, by the label's own standards – but it had, as ever, a conviction and a strength all its own.