At first glance, Christopher Bailey’s latest resort collection for Burberry Prorsum is something of a head-scratcher. For some time Bailey has been employing his arsenal of motifs, exploring everything from the artisanal to experimenting with fabric technology for breaking new grounds of inspiration. It has helped him mold a style for the brand that is so readily identifiable in its quirk and ingenuity – so, it begs the question – where did it all go? Many designers take advantage of the resort season to make the “real clothes”, the true ‘ready-to-wear’, as some say, and good for Bailey for taking the same route. If there was one downfall to last fall’s show, it was its predictability. It was wise to pull back before gimmicky sentiments took deep root in the eyes of Bailey’s audience.
Still, Bailey has never offered anything as consumer friendly as this latest for resort; so much so that, overall, it even felt remote of its own DNA. For one, where was the intrinsic Britishness? A high-waisted tapered trouser rendered in navy, matched with a black and white stripe top under the house’s iconic cropped moto jacket in weather-worn brown leather, read more distinctly as a grasp for Americana, as did those relaxed button-ups and boxer shorts get-ups that came translated directly from the menswear line.
Its English sense was most palpable in the evening attire, as was the full-throttle femininity. There was something wonderfully suggestive about a gold lame halter dress, which hugged absolutely everything, over a taupe tee, not to mention the stunning three final floor-length gowns, all of which came with triangle cut-outs between the corset-like cups.
The best offerings throughout were the knits, in particular a Nordic sailor sweater with a cowl and the ribbed two-pocket shirts. But nothing outshone the house’s treasured trench coat, resplendent in ribbons of gold. If ever a trench made a case for poolside dressing – this one’s it.