November 21, 2013
Spring 2013 is a lush, bold departure from the traditional, staid Burberry heritage without pushing too hard in an effort to be different. I love how Christopher Bailey has centered his collection around a playful, flirtier Burberry. In doing so, he has interjected the classic house with a delightfully seductive quality. There is a shift towards a more sculpted silhouette: the collection is full of sensual bustier corsets, ruched bodysuits, and beautifully rounded capes. And while there is a distinct erotic allusion, Bailey does not go for obvious “sexiness.” Instead, he allows the vibrant color palette and deliciously tactile texture to speak for themselves. Neon dip-dye ombre jackets certainly catch the eye (Looks 7, 10, 12) for the upcoming warmer months while the blush and plum satins are positively autumnal. The combination of purples, blues, and greens is featured prominently throughout the collection, showing up in a rather unique fashion. Personally, I am rather enamored with that purple pebbled leather skirt in Look 38. Pairing it with a peacock-esque plumage of green and blue feathers made for striking impact.
Moreover, I love how Bailey was unafraid to extend his bold color palette to his outerwear. Burberry’s trademark Macs are transformed into boldly textured versions of themselves. Pebbled leather coats are introduced in multiple hues of blue and green while cropped satin jackets and rounded capes are enticingly cheeky. There are, of course, the more standard traditional trenches in crepe khaki, neatly knotted with serrated leather belts. And though most of the trenches are beautifully crafted and sure to please Burberry’s more conservative customers, I am drawn to the gorgeously plumed version in Look 44, the romantic lace of Look 26, and the electric blue leather rendering of Look 36–all fantastic deviations from the norm.
Overall, I love that Bailey has given himself license to play. While still undoubtedly elegant, the Burberry girl embraces bold choices and coquettish provocation for Spring. How aptly timed.
[On a side note, I had the most horrible mental block with this one. However, I should be able to catch up within the next couple of months or so *fingers crossed*]
November 20, 2013
Although Jonathan Saunders is not quite as avant garde as some of his fellow British contemporaries (or Scottish as it were), there is a certain je ne sais quoi about his collections. His pieces are deliciously covetable. Perhaps, in the face of the generally wildly wacky British style that tends to characterize London Fashion Week, I find Saunders’ clean silhouette and unusual color highly attractive. He has a remarkable attention for detail, utilizing his print expertise to craft pieces that are striking and, yet, entirely accessible. Normally, accessibility is not exactly the quality I am drawn to during these shows; however, Jonathan Saunders manages to remain practical without losing his flare for high impact drama. He is walking a fine balance: staying true to the concept of prêt-à-porter while generating that special spark of something that I have come to associate with haute couture.
Jonathan Saunders is actually the show I look forward to the most during London. I am probably doing a horrible job of articulating it, but Saunders has it. There is a quality to his pieces that has made his collections wildly popular with critics and masses alike in recent years. I can’t quite name what it is, but the reaction is generally very visceral. There is something compelling and reassuring about his collections. A spark of wit? The beautifully effortless finished product? I don’t know. Whatever it is, Jonathan Saunders has it in spades.
Regardless, this review is likely a wash since I am waxing (incoherent) poetry about the emotions that Jonathan Saunders has provoked rather than focusing on actual concrete aspects of his spring collection. Oh well. Try Vogue UK’s review for a more comprehensive take on the actual collection itself.
March 30, 2013
There is intriguing multiplicity to Antonio Berardi’s spring collection. With some clever layering and excellent cutting technique, Berardi manages to create something modern and architectural while heralding back to the structure of old school haute couture. The functionality to his pieces is imaginative as it is practical. The use of UK primary school Aertex fabric is judiciously awesome, for one. Coupled with his flare for embellishment, he manages to stand out from the crowd with his take on sportif style.
I just love his eye for color; his blues are particularly gorgeous. I found the idea of cascading sea blue beading climbing up the sleeves of a blazer seen in the very first look very lovely. I feel that this collection evolves in a very natural manner: sea blue beading continues to a rich cobalt only to give way to a starker monochromatic palette that eventually transitions into soft lavender and army green before returning to his richly hued blues. Berardi’s Spring 2013 takes us on a thoughtful and modern journey, providing a cohesiveness that a surprising number of collections lack. And more importantly, his silhouettes holds shape without feeling stiff. There is a casualness to his formal wear that I really like, something that utterly befits our modern lifestyle. The final product indicates that Antonio Berardi understands his audience well; he brings versatility and ingenuity to his collection without losing out on quality craftsmanship. And although his pieces are easily translated to everyday life, they can hardly be deemed pedestrian.