A foggy view of Londontown greeted guests as they poured into the Burberry show space at Kensington Gardens to take their seats. The same view on the pop-up invites they held in their hands. When the bright lights came on it turned out to be a giant close-up of the Burberry check embossed on the wall. An illusion through the fog. Were we in for a spy drama?
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was low on the sexy female spy count but man, the opening look, a long white cape, collar popped up, hair tucked in, over a rosé ruched satin body would have spiced things up! If she was the femme fatale of the story, Cara Delevingne (who must have walked in pretty much every London show this season) in a belted classic white trench was the one to solve the mystery. The real hero here was the good ol' trench coat, rethought and reworked by Christopher Bailey once again. No matter what you think of a Burberry collection (creativity vs commerciality) you have to give the man credit for his vision for the British design icon. It was shiny and crinkled as a Quality Street wrapper on Jourdan Dunn, staying close to the body and flaring out at the hem, just so. It came in bold fuchsia and red satin, feathered green gold on Edie Campbell or with an added mini cape on the shoulders - you need all the help you can get to stay dry in this town!
Bailey has always had a particular way with colours, at times very autumnal and English countryside, here glistening in their jewel best. Trench coats aside, he also focused on a very Forties silhouette with on old world type of glamour. Skirts came body-skimming, the tops sat low on the bust; a wine satin short jacket had corset detailing and a light peplum sitting on top of a pencil skirt, slit open at the front. Exotic skins shone on a cropped metallic jacket, a certain sportiness to its sleeves, a dark navy peplum top on top of forest green trousers, gold pointy heels contrasting - what a painting that made. But there was also volume, on a great cocoon jacket, the back billowing, the sleeves wide.
Have you noticed we've hardly talked shop here? The accessories had a small supporting role in this one, the doctor bags smaller than usual, shiny, bright, reflecting the palette as did the pointy satin wedges, the box clutches clear and padlocked. As the lineup for the finale marched out, grouped in all their Quality Street glory, to the voice of Ren Harvieu singing "Open up your arms, let me in" it felt as if the fog had cleared. This was a celebratory collection from Bailey. To paraphrase The Killers, "I see London, I see Christopher's town."