Burberry's chief designer is Christopher Bailey, a 30-year-old Brit with an international pedigree that includes a long stint under Tom Ford at Gucci and before that a stop at Donna Karan. That experience has primed him as a brand-conscious team leader, who has already focused the disparate aspects of the Burberry London collection, rethought the house plaid and bumped up the accessories.
It's a different challenge, though, to forge a vision for the Burberry Prorsum labelthe "designer" collection of a house whose reputation was built on a classic raincoat. For his first official show, Bailey took a younger approach than his predecessor, Roberto Menichetti, showing double-breasted coats in modernized slubby tweeds and using a paisley motif that was printed on wool shirts and embroidered or embossed as a pattern on coats and jackets. Bailey also transposed the anatomy of a Burberry macthe belts, buckles, hooks, epaulettes and storm flapsinto punky straps and hardware on low-slung skirts, culottes and pants. Though it wasn't enough to trigger a second wave of Burberry fever, the designer did devise a treat for accessory lovers; his huge leather and tweed bags hanging from thick straps looked great.