Sunday, 23 January 2011

Burberry AW11 – Milan

Burberry reclaims the British crown in Milan.

Under the helm of Christopher Bailey the brand has had a creative over haul and reclaimed its title as one of Britain’s best. Bailey’s ingenuity also helped rescue the brand from its 90’s slump, after it became the bedspread and baseball cap of Rottweiler wielding chav’s.

The Burberry show at Milan menswear bought to us live by the rising star in online menswear and style trends, was an inspiring breakthrough for the brand. Whilst retaining all the British quintessential charm and quality we expected, Burberry gave us a fresh lease of life and pumped some contemporary flare into their timeless staples.

As Bailey proved at the Milan show he brings a sophisticated, understated style to Burberry, up keeping the brands ethos, credibility and charm. After all, Burberry is notorious for its sharp military tailoring and weather durability with out making the wearer look like a train spotter in a water proof pocket mac.

The collections feel was of revolutionary Mod 60’s, apt given the fresh lick of colours and textures Burberry had to offer. Gentrified, keeping true to the brand staple – the trench.

Staying away from the traditional Burberry palettes of muted greens, grays and browns the brand boasted vibrant colour, ranging from plaid trenches and duffels in red, orange and blue, bluebell skinny trench’s and bright yellow waterproofs.

The kaleidoscope of colour was followed by a mix of tactile textures. Classics still intact, but the collection was mixed with plastic cable knit crew neck sweaters, a mixture of acrylics for the waterproofs and a wide abundance of fur.
As a fabric I adore fur for it’s practicality as well as its look are feel, combining a sense of sensuality, luxury and in this case masculinity.

In a mixture of natural hues fur was predominately used for trims and accessories. The over sized caps, lapels and holdalls were a huge success. Other great pieces were a navy suede trench and full fur trench’s and crew neck jumper, but one of the labels successes for AW11 has to be the sheep skin aviator jackets which is still a key trend of the winter months with it’s nostalgic and dare devil connotations.

A continuous theme in the show was the weather. In front of a backdrop of projected rain and deep soulful music the models strutted, but it wasn’t until the finale that the two elements of durable fashion and unpredictable climate were combined. The troop of models marched on the runway in beige duffels under waterproof transparent raincoats, and above the heavens opened and rain fell from the roof onto the catwalk.

Twitter reports came in that editors in the front row got drenched. Well, should have sat in with a nice cuppa in front of, or at least had a Burberry cagoule at the ready shouldn’t they? The perfect ending to what turned out to be a brand affirming and brand challenging show.