There was a vivid air of anticipation not felt in other shows of the season, in due partly to the who’s who milling about- famous actors and pop stars, gorgeous socialites- and partly to the brand’s status. Burberry is, after all, one of the oldest heritage brands in the world to still exist- and since Christopher Bailey became creative director it’s become the iconic English fashion brand, coveted by pretty young things.
In a parade of coats that were inspired by the English countryside, rejuvenated for city dressing, there were several spirited pieces for Fall: a cotton and tweed trench that contained details of both the classic Burberry trench (with epaulettes, rain shield and storm flaps) and a shooting jacket (it had overlay pockets, exagerrated in volume), which was modernised even more in a short version that flared out at the hips. A checked wool top coat felt more subdued, while a herringbone version with a rabbit and fur collar was plush. Matched with a belt that was topped with a figurine of a fox’s head, it felt the classic Burberry Prorsum coat in the collection- timeless- as did the blanket quilt coat in olive.
Puffers were niftily fit to the body like an A-line dress, or cut like cropped bomber jackets. In jewel tones, they felt urban and casual-chic. Where jackets were cropped, skirts had pockets at the hips- a fashionable (and practical) signature for Fall Winter 2012. Diagonal feminine ruffles on knee-length skirts added sophistication.
Upbeat details included owl prints on Ts and a bulldog print on a white button down shirt. Envelope clutches accented with metal animal heads and English terrier heads on umbrella handles were a cosmpolitan interpretation of sporting activities in the wild. Velvet pieces were reminiscent of Victorian dressing (not least due to the colours), perhaps to remind us, in the display of contemporary touches, that the brand was created in that era.
As Burberry’s brings its digital world and physical world together (you can shop for the coats and bags in the collection on the website for a limited time), its desire to push forward while maintaining its heritage is crystal clear. Practical outerwear is updated every season to appeal to a woman who likes classics with a refined and up-to-date twist; under Christopher Bailey, traditional English clothing has become cheerful (even with fake rain sliding down the roof at the show’s finale). There are few heritage fashion brands in the world, those that staunchly maintain their legacy while offering something new every season, and with the Fall Winter 2012 show Burberry Prorsum topped the list.
There was just one thing we wanted to see in the collection: long formal dresses. We can imagine that Burberry Prorsum black-tie gowns would go well with the ripe-faced celebrities filling the front row.
-Ria de Borja