Burberry's wild bunch has some serious (animal) skin in the game at Milan Fashion Week
As inspiration for the Spring/Summer 2011 menswear collection, Burberry's chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, turned to a perennial bad-boy icon -- the biker.
In doing so, he was able to continue exploring the notion of protection in ways that didn't directly involve the element-shielding properties of the trench coat. Last season, Bailey went woolly-bully with a Burberry cocooning collection, this season he gives his man a second skin -- protective leather jackets in military and biker silhouettes (some studded, others studded and quilted and still others tumbled into a permanent swirl of wrinkles), as well as leather vests, leather trousers and even leather shorts (which, as an aside, would do precious little to prevent road rash).
Several non-leather pieces ended up with leather accents, too, including trench-coat epaulets and shoulder patches on pullover sweaters.
Bailey's love of leather in the Spring/Summer collection was apparently matched only by his zeal for zippers and other manner of metal hardware -- riveted leather detailing, metal military belt loops, eyelets, and studding that ranged in size from nail head to nearly half-grape.
The larded-up leathers and heavy metal felt a bit heavy handed, and the whole collection seemed to be moving in the opposite direction of the easy-breezy, light and luxe looks being shown by the rest of the designers here in Milan this week. But if Bailey is trying to make the point that Burberry's got you covered -- from the trenches to the turnpike -- he's now hammered the point into our forebrain with a thousand tiny studs.
-- Adam Tschorn, in Milan
Photos: Looks from the Burberry Prorsum Spring/Summer 2011 men's collection, shown on June 19, 2010, during Milan Fashion Week. Credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times