Pretty in pink at Burberry Prorsum SS14

Thank the lord for Burberry! If it wasn’t for them I don’t know how we would even see the likes of powerhouse models Liu Wen or Xiao Wen Ju in our humble little town. Not to mention the powers that be in the fashion world such as Anna Wintour or Carine Roitfeld. We did of course have a few Brit celebs to ogle over, erm, Harry Styles from One Direction and a Bond girl. Other than that the celebs were a little thin on the ground this season, which gave us all the more reason to focus on the clothes and the catwalk.
Set up in a monolithic greenhouse structure next to the gorgeous golden memorial by Queen Victoria to her beloved Prince Albert, the setting was spectacularly British. Even the weather was on form with quick bursts of typical autumn showers giving way to glorious sunshine illuminating the grounds, which glittered all the more thanks to the rain.
As the first strains of a rasping folk/rock song came on the audio system it was clear that this was going to be a more relaxed show than usual from Christopher Bailey. It girl du jour Cara Delevigne stepped lightly onto the runway in a decidedly very pretty pink broderie Anglaise pencil skirt and blouse – a far cry from the patent leathers, animal skins and polished metal from Burberry the previous season.
Model after model strode out in baby pinks and blues, even the coats – usually fiercely structured and cinched – were loose, soft and with almost no detail and with very little structure. The signature trench coats, when they did appear, were completely free of ornamentation – no spikes, buttons or buckles as we’ve seen in recent years – just beautiful, well-cut shapes with concealed buttons, finished off with a simple, featureless belts.
Thin grey knits and thick wool coats were paired with simple, almost completely sheer pencil shirts, giving a look that  was at once slightly obscene and yet effortlessly sexy.
Towards the end of the show large, jewelled brooch-like additions started to come through, at first just on the straps of a simple but cleverly draped dress and then on a skirt entirely adorned with jewels, before the show closed with Cara Delevigne in a bejewelled, clear plastic jacket, a lightly jewelled skirt and a simple embroidered T-shirt. Effortless, understated and stunning.
Just as interesting as the clothes was the casting which saw heavyweights such as Catherine McNeil and Jourdan Dunn walking alongside complete unknowns – a confident move from Bailey who prides himself on discovering talent way ahead of the curve. There also seemed to be a distinct focus on representing all ethnicities, with models of Indian, black, Chinese and white origin all present – a brilliant show of diversity and perhaps also a nod to the multiculturalism of modern Britain.
As the colourful column of beautiful young women filed down the runway for the finale, a stream of fresh white petals tumbled from above like blossom in springtime. And as the sun shone down, probably making its final appearance of the year, there was, for a split second, the tangible sense that this was one of the moments that fashion editors live for.
by Nicola Kavanagh
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