London Fashion Week best in show // we heart Burberry S/S’12

Perfectly set in leafy Hyde Park, Burberry S/S’12 had the air of that slightly posh girl you probably went to University with and watched across the Union bar, as she climbed the social ladder as quickly as a Middleton on speed. A glossy show pony matched only by a perfectly glossy mane, boys wanted to date her and girls wanted to be her – you know, the girl you love to almost – but not quite – hate. A sort of  Sienna Miller type figure (pre-Balthazar Getty messiness) and the kind of girl who was, Mary Poppins style, pretty much ‘perfect in every way’. No skeletons in her closet, and zero memories of her falling asleep (or into a coma) in a pool of her own Orange Reef-sponsored vomit during Fresher’s Week. No thank you.

So too, the Burberry show – beautifully groomed, beautifully set and beautifully embracing our age of digital marketing like no other – the show was instantaneously live streamed, the catwalk collection tweeted before it even hit the runway and every single piece available to buy off the runway. Toto, we’re not in the ’90s anymore.

And to answer the rumbles of why the collection may have looked more Autumn/Winter than Spring/Summer, over to Christopher Bailey’s innate commercial touch: with clothes available to buy immediately, they were also absolutely wearable immediately too. And what’s more, approximately how many days a year does the British ‘Summer’ reach anything more than 3 degrees above 25? Approximately 4, when every Sharon and Tracey hit their neon orange bikini, Bournemouth Beach and the front cover of The Sun. And we all are, for once, grateful for small mercies…


With subtle jewel tones of deep purple, navy and teal, ladylike midi-length skirts, always on or just below the knee, with nipped in waists and loose flowing skirts, there were some slash details to the front and through skirts, but this was about as close to the recent fetish trend as a night with Cliff Richard. In a good way…


There was that all important trench, in a deckchair inspired vertical print of contrasting tweeds, effortlessly capturing both traditional British summers and heritage in one fell swoop, and on a very beautiful Edie Campbell. Particularly lovely was the juxtaposition of a demure lady of the manor with ethnic prints – a little bit tribal, a hint of Aztec and yet still eminently wearable.


With the soundtrack of I Put a Spell on You and Everlasting Love,  the lyrics pretty much summarised my reaction to Burberry’s catwalk prowess once again. A heavy weight brand with a very personal, British approach, the gold glitter heralding the finale was an uncanny metaphor that Christopher Bailey really does seem to have the Midas touch. Bravo.

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