Christopher Bailey's formula is to find a piece of British iconography to match the mood of the season, and then apply it to the fundamentals of Burberry's heritage. For spring, like many other designers, he's thinking about making things "lighter and more joyous," and he found the key while leafing through a book of Cecil Beaton's photographs.
It was Beaton's whimsical early portraits from the twenties that caught his eye most: "The ones where he used cellophane, feathers, and sequins in studio photographs of his sister Baba and other debs." Bailey took that as a cue to give the familiar Burberry trench a new treatment, puffing gentle volume into the shapes, and working a palette of palest beige and silvery metallics into lace and high-tech brocades made from lightweight aluminum and silk.
His best summer coat came narrowish in front with a barrel-shaped volume curving from a yoke in back. Otherwise, there were cute variations on Bailey's short swing jackets, softly belled skirts, and his version of the season's shirtdress. As for the bags, they came big, squashy, and belted with a signature trench-buckle in silver python, a punchy detail to pull the look together. In all? Plenty that will appeal in stores, if no great departure from Bailey's tried-and-tested approach.