‘Come Rain or Shine’ was the title of Burberry’s S/S 13 collection. Shine being the key word here. Metallics of all shapes and hues ruled the runway, in Easter-egg wrapper tones such as turquoise, fuchsia and space age green. This futuristic wander was, perhaps, inevitable for the brand - Burberry is, after all, the master of technical innovation, with their live-stream-buy-straight-from-the-catwalk shenanigans (the press release had more information on the brand’s digital prowess than on the clothes).
Burberry’s collections are always at their best when born from a clear and simple idea. Case in point was the famed A/W 2010 womenswear collection that orchestrated the meteoric rise of the aviator jacket through a simple decision to hero a piece from the brand’s archive. But Bailey’s usually streamlined vision seemed to have gone askew this season, as too many competing themes, visuals and textures appeared on the runway. A large portion of the blame can be placed on the metallic leather pieces, which hit a consistently bad note and often ruined otherwise perfectly good looks when thrown in on a collar or accessory.
This collection did have some winners – a cheery submarine yellow raincoat and a gorgeous parka-green bomber jacket with gold hardware caught my eye – but for every good piece on the runway there was also a curveball thrown in. Notable clangers included a golden pollo neck and the Dame Edna Everage shiny sunnies unfortunately forced upon every model. Footwear was also a sore point; each pair of dapper derbies was counterbalanced by a metallic Bikenstock-esque sandal teamed with socks. Ouch.
It felt like there were two collections going on here. One was beautiful, sellable and refined, featuring crisp tailoring, sumptuous twenties prints and classic Burberry outdoor wear. The other was gimmicky, unflattering, and to put it simply, unwearable (I refuse to believe that one man will buy those hot pink leather skinnies).
So, in the end rain seemed to pour on this collection. Still, as the expression goes, the sun will come out tomorrow. This is the talented Mr Bailey after all, he wont be out of the hot spot for long.