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Burberry: Through the Wind and Rain

Godfrey Deeny
June 20th, 2009 @ 5:44 PM - Milan

The most outstanding collection seen Saturday, June 20, the opening day of the Italian menswear season, was Burberry, whose stroll through the wind and rain was the show that most connected to the current economic zeitgeist.

While the clothes were very much in step with the gentleman explorer aesthetic of Burberry’s creative director Christopher Bailey, the Spring 2010 collection nonetheless reflected the current global mood of wariness, dressing elegantly but never loudly and with an overriding sense of humility.

No designer anywhere, given the lack of action at cash registers, is trying to reinvent the wheel, but Bailey, to his credit, at least addressed the global mood with a show that began in with a downbeat opening and then morphed into a celebratory high-end nomad moment.

“I wanted to begin in the rain and end in the sun, a typical English day,” Bailey said backstage.

His opening was all about new takes on Burberry’s symbolic garment, the trench, showing new shower-proof waxed cottons and linens that had distinction but were never loud. He also revamped the classic padded country jacket with a shiny finish and a nightclub attitude.

Christopher also dipped into one major trend seen the last time the economy was in a tailspin, the bondage shirt, sending out several tops with multiple surgical straps around the torso that were early eighties and edgy.

But his best looks were bulky double-breasted dusters in technical finishes or redingotes in hefty linens that responded to men’s yearning for a look that is both protective and yet posh.

A series of polished, yet also worn, Chelsea boots and some masculine high-tech yachting parkas added to the air of rugged cool.

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