Friday, October 29, 2010

Who Cares What Vanessa Petey Thinks - Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum is that brand that basically defines British fashion to the rest of the world. In continuing with my critique of London Fashion Week as a part of Who Cares What Vanessa Petey Thinks – I’m going to discuss their latest biker inspired collection.

Appropriately, they’ve selected Emma Watson as the newest face of the label and the photographs are really stunning. Who’da thought that our little Hermione would become a big fashion model for a label as fantastic as Burberry?? I love her.

The thing about Burberry Prorsum, and especially with chief creative director Christopher Bailey at the helm, is that they never disappoint. Everyone loves a good trench coat and they definitely have the patent on that classic style. What was fantastic about their most recent collection was the ability of the designer to take the traditional model from the Burberry archives and re-create it for the modern woman. Of course this is and should be the goal every season, but this time Bailey really nailed it.

He begins simply by maintaining the image of the trench coat, but shortening it and fitting it to a more modern silhouette. He’s done this as a throw back to the motorbike clothing that the line was invented for when it was founded more than a century ago. As the collection progresses, we see this biker style become more and more evident with Bailey’s use of shiny fabrics, lots of zippers and snaps and a very structured, hard look. What I loved most about this collection was the mixing of bright colours with softer colours – an attribute I like to use in many of my own pieces for Petey the Troll Apparel. Coat after coat appear on the stage in neutral, plain colours – typical of the Burberry style – but they’re all synched together at the waist with a very bright neon belt and bag to match. By adding this little accessory to the mix, Bailey changes the entire image of the brand creating a more youthful, up to date, stylish look.

Every now and then a cocktail dress emerges on stage in one solid, bright bold colour – usually also synched by a fabulous belt. Another trend in the collection is the gathered fabrics which are pulled together to bring forth a combination of loose fitting, flowy fabrics and a very defined silhouette. The result is a garment that anyone of any size or shape can wear – all of those gathers hiding the “wobbly bits”.

The middle of the collection introduces silver and black as the central colours in Bailey’s vision. After seeing the feminine, elegant little dresses, this addition brings us back to the biker idea behind the line this season. He’s even included studs! Studs all over the lapels, shoulders and sleeves of the jackets begin to appear – a nod perhaps to the punk affiliation the brand received during the mid-late 70s in London. Shortly following are the animal prints. Everyone this year seems to be returning to animal prints for their Spring wardrobes. Something about a leopard print tube top always wins when accessorized properly by the stylists of Burberry Prorsum.

The last piece to come out on the runway featured model Nina Porter in a violet leopard print tube dress with a fully studded leather jacket on top. – Now, I watched this show live when I was in Toronto sitting in my friend’s apartment eating almond butter on bread, and my jaw was one of the many that dropped at the very end of the show when poor Nina Porter tripped on her shoes and crashed to the floor in that perfect Burberry outfit. When the camera switched to a back stage view, all you could see in the background was Nina crying to Christopher Bailey about how sorry she was for the incident. That’s fashion I guess. What would fashion week be without a model smashing her face into the runway at some point? What really made it worse (better?) was the presence of some of the fashion world’s top celebrity admirers.

They immediately panned to Sarah Jessica Parker’s face when Porter fell – hilarious – to say the least.