LFW AW15: Burberry Prorsum

How many times can you reinvent a Burberry trench coat? If your name is Christopher Bailey, the answer is ‘infinitely’. Season after season Burberry’s maverick Creative Director has found ever more imaginative ways to translate the British house’s signature piece. In the latest instalment he continued the brand’s romantic journey around the world (for Autumn/Winter last year he took us through Peru and Ecuador with his brightly coloured ponchos, down to Argentina with his sheer and sultry tango-inspired dresses), this year to South Asia and Central America. Stopping first in Asia, the trench was first reinterpreted as a traditional Kantha jacket – an ancient style of embroidery originating from West Bengal and Bangladesh, where old saris would be stacked on top of one another to create padded, patchwork, riots of colour. The Kantha style was also translated into floating, gypsy style calf-length dresses as well as precision-cut pencil skirt dresses toughened up with black bodices – mildly reminiscent of bullet proof vests.

Then came the seamless detour to Central America, as tasselled, suede Pocahontas-style skirts began to appear paired with mirror-work Indian blouses. These were followed by tasselled ponchos – clearly still a favourite piece for Christopher – and entire suede tasselled smock dresses; the more adventurous looks interspersed with simple, oversized suede or wool coats in earthy shades of moss or amber. The must-have item of the season has to be the skin-tight, thigh-high patchwork suede boots which, even alone, are perfect for updating last season’s coat (or poncho).

Over the years Christopher Bailey has clearly become more and more confident in the steps he can take with the brand. Five years ago a South Asian themed Burberry collection would have been utterly unimaginable, but such is Bailey’s skill and stewardship of the house’s codes that the journey, like a world voyage, has been carefully navigated, one mesmeric sight at a time, so that it feels as though this is where he was headed all along and only he had the map.





by Nicola Kavanagh

Images courtesy of Style.com