Burberry Prorsum Fall Winter 2012 Menswear Ready-to-Wear Collection
by Alexander Patino
Burberry Prorsum makes trenches. Yes, we got it, and Christopher Bailey knows we got it too. Here he continues to tout his refocus on the house parka, and more expressively still, on the bomber. Some, like myself, would say that this younger, tongue-in-cheekiness Bailey has been employing and mixing in with the house codes has pumped the brand with a fresh gravitas. The show was called ‘The Gentlemen’, and as you can already guess, it wasn’t close to fulfilling those archetypal notions we all have about English propriety.
This outing felt especially academic, you could see the men in these clothes strolling through campus in the twilight hours, handsome students and young professors that like to pepper their wares with just a little bit of quirk and cool – a dusted off ‘Dead Poets Society’ goes to Cambridge, if you will. Suiting played a big role here and to distance the associations between strict elegance and the gool ol’ days of yore, Bailey cut everything tight, tailoring to just this side of a man’s version of ‘bodycon’. Where things did go lax were in the cowl swoop collars on sweaters with dizzy patterns that start off in some pieces as simple stripes and seem to go topsy-turvy in others.
Bailey took materials for bags, gloves and umbrella handles and switched them around from accessory to accessory, to garment to garment like a game of musical chairs of the sartorial variety. Suede in patchworks on bags (A gentleman’s answer to the coveted Celine Mondrian clutch) made up entire suits, which made for an elevated corduroy look (Sexy T.A., even). The studs on gloves later became the fabric of whole umbrellas. The array of the color-blocked umbrellas could be later mirrored on the hem of a trench.
The most playful looks were those frontispieces of owls and foxes embellished on knits (The owls also came in silver, as the handles on umbrellas). It was like something Christopher Robin might put together if he got his hands on some spool and thread. The only thing missing from Bailey’s nostalgic traipse was the crunch of dried leaves under the models’ feet.