Christopher Bailey is at an odd point in his career. As Burberry’s CEO, he can now call all the shots, but the way he contextualizes his product for the world is teetering on the brink of cliché. Case in point: the angst-y troubadour James Bay, who played live during today’s show. But when Bailey called his latest collection “The Birds and the Bees,” his motives can’t have been as wide-eyed innocent as the Burberry slate suggests. Clothes as sheer and curvy as these were scarcely designed with the ingenue in mind, a point that was more than reinforced by well-seasoned tabloid fixtures Kate and Cara parked front-row-center.
And yet it was some idealized vision of an English summertime that Bailey insisted he was invoking. That’s why he showed trainers you could run through a meadow in. A feeling of freedom, he said. Same with all the sheer dresses, ruched or tiered tulle. Nothing to hide. Life lived online. Over these dresses, Bailey laid tiny little shearlings, or wasp-waisted denim jackets, like afterthoughts of definition. Often, he’d tie them with swatches of fabric, the way you see bunches of flowers tied sometimes.