Christopher Bailey showed his ability to think ahead in Burberry’s new spring/summer 2016 ready-to-wear line. He didn’t only design for the spring weather, but instead created garments that could easily transition between seasons. Of course, it wouldn’t be in the classic Burberry style to leave trench coats (of varying weights) to the collection, so it really added an element of diversity, knowing these garments could be worn year round, with the addition of a jacket. Bailey had a clear vision of a young, urban woman in mind as he designed this collection, with various features supporting his muse. Lace, silk, and mesh were gloriously merged together in one collection, celebrating modern fashion and the female body. And, in Burberry fashion, each look presented on the runway would look just as gorgeous if paired with one of their signature pieces of outerwear.
Backpacks were a recurring theme in this collection, and each one bore the initials of the model carrying it. This, alongside the youthful silhouettes, gave the image of an urban college student. The show started out by showing the audience exactly what the rest of the line would hold: youthful modernity, seduction, and spectacular coats. The first look, under the coat, was featured in slightly different styles throughout the collection, and seemed to resemble lingerie. This sexy element really spiced up the collection, and also introduced the slip, which is a staple piece for spring.
Trench coats worn as dresses were a common (and fabulous) trend on the runway, which is an interesting suggestion for spring. But without the presence of tights or other warming apparel, I can’t see the problem when the look is so beautiful. With so many jackets, it’s hard to choose a few highlights, but one true standout was a black, classic-cut trench coat with gold piping and buttons. This is no new sight on the runway, especially for Burberry, yet it was still a breathtaking piece. Clearly Bailey is doing something right if he can take such an ordinary piece and make it carry such a large runway presence.
With similar fashion (no pun intended), a particularly modern interpretation of the trench coat walked the catwalk in black lace with large black buttons. Head to toe, the model embodied a new persona; one of an urban girl with a grungy side, presented with dark red lipstick, black chain bag, and strappy black heels. To continue raving about the coat-dresses, a final eye-catching design was the trench coat with a more flared-out bottom, more resembling a dress, with a definitely lighter color palette and floral print. This seems to be a more feminine twist on the last mentioned coat, but was shown with the same strong makeup.
This is where the remarkable connection comes into play, where there are three similar dresses presented, and all with a different girl in mind. We have a classic woman, one with a grungier, dark side, and one with a feminine twist. Each model appeared to be targeting the same age range, so it seems Burberry is trying to reach a larger market of women, which translated really well into their ready-to-wear collection. To go along with this idea, you can see the variety of influences in the Burberry Prorsum spring 2016 collection, and can definitely see there was no singular type of client targeted. Bailey himself admitted to the collection being a “mash up of things [he] really loves.” And it shows.
You could see the grunge, the lace, the classical elements, the femininity, and the beautiful sculpting done on the clothing. He also went forward with the initialed backpacks, which people can actually order to their liking for a short time. While some people may be turned off by this blatant disarray of styles, I personally love that Bailey tested the waters, yet still managed to make a cohesive line based solely on target age. He styled for men and women with a variety of personal styles, and I think the clothes speak for themselves. They stand strong and united, despite the vast spectrum of women who will be wearing the fabulous clothes presented on Burberry’s runway.
Photos courtesy of Vogue