London Fashion Week: Burberry Prorsum A/W 2013

Whilst Valentine’s Day is well behind us and many ignore it every year, Christopher Bailey seemed determined to maintain an element of romance for the modern woman. In a collection entitled ‘Trench Kisses’, Bailey’s designs was complete with sweet-heart prints, edible looking colours, and a romantic trend perfect for the British stereotype. Modest flirtation with an underlying vision of modesty is on trend and whilst looking demure is on the cards, a small impact on style is not.


Attitudes were blended, mixing the polite with the fierce. Despite their contrasting natures, the modest sweet-heart printed shirts worked well with the lashing of animal print alongside; python, snakeskin, leopard and giraffe-printed pencil skirts were the perfect accompaniment to sleeved silk shirts with tiny collars. Unsurprisingly, a focus on body-conscious dressing is advocated by Burberry this season; all the close-fitting skirts and clinging dresses enhance the silhouette without revealing too much, often finishing just under the shin. Additionally, they were worn with an emphasis on a framed metal belt, creating a small waist without restrained movement; a staple Burberry has focus on for several collections now.


In contrast to modesty, a tone of sensuality counterbalanced the lack of flesh on show, ensuring tickled taste-buds from all members of the audience. Tempting and sultry tones of caramel, cranberry, maroon and golden honey looked good enough to eat. As well as bold stripes and blocked colours, the reincarnation of the label’s staple trench coat had soft rubber sleeves and shoulder inserts which seemed less aggressive and actually complimentary in its smooth texture and indulgent shade of chocolate brown. For the modern adaptation however, a navy metallic leather coat and voluminous skirts translated served as the redesign of the classic, tailing off from last season’s feast of bold metallic jackets.


In equal simplicity and with equal impact, eveningwear closed the show. A series of body-conscious dresses, hems finishing at the knee in dark hues of red, purple plastic and black with alternating necklines were worn with the same pointed-toe snakeskin and alligator loafers. The geometrical metal plates that connected the dresses with the necklines kept the overall feeling contemporary, as did the large leather clutches, covered in a chunky fringe with framed rivets and studs. The accessories seemed out of place but occasional anomaly provided a welcome change, differing to the oversized animal-print coats but appealing nonetheless.

With new colours, new textures and an emphasis on flat shoes, it seems that Bailey is aiming for pragmatism this season and it’s welcomed with open arms. These clothes are the new office attire, chic and alluring with enough style to stand out and look incredibly comfortable. It’s without question that Bailey has taken Burberry to new heights since he inherited the label’s control in 2009 and his work has created the impact he intended. As predicted, if this season’s cranberry-coloured plastic-rubber trench coat doesn’t stick out from the crowd, then there’s not much else that will.

Rosie Feenstra


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