MFW: Burberry Prorsum gets strap happy
There are few things as cliche as England's weather. So, after seasons of paying homage to that country's photographers (Fall 2009), filmmakers (Spring 2009) and artists (Fall 2008), Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey decided to mine meaning from the meteorological, taking his inspiration from the British rain and sun -- which makes sense given the brand's DNA.
That meant diamond-quilted featherweight nylon jackets (quilting was a key look in last season's Dolce & Gabbana runway collection), seersucker fabrics that created the illusion of rain-dappled dress shirts, and a dab print knit pullover shirt that did the same thing (though at first glance it looked a bit like a leopard print). There were also lots of weatherproof waxed cottons, waxed linens, double collars, Velcro closures and outer wear pieces in "uniform red" and "sou'wester yellow."
What we could have done without was the multiplicity of what Bailey described as "trench straps" -- strips of webbed fabrics that crisscrossed the chest, harnessed the shoulders and hung loosely at the waist, making the models look as if they'd just parachuted in from on high.
Not only were the straps a flourish we've seen before (most memorably in Prada's Fall 2008 "bondage chic" men's collection), in this environment of new austerity, going all strap happy with an otherwise strong collection felt like a case of gilding the gabardine lily.
-- Adam Tschorn in Milan