In the Trenches: Burberry Fall 2014

If Christopher Bailey’s massive show in Hyde Park made anything clear, it’s that the city of London belongs to Burberry. First by adopting the trench coat, that iconic British invention that holds the brand together and that shows no sign of waning. Second, by positioning the show as the megastar of the London Fashion Week schedule. Third, by channeling the Bloomsbury Group, the clique of writers, artists and intellectuals who encouraged an avant-garde, bohemian aestheticism in the early 20th century.

The omnipresent trench appeared mostly in a relaxed silhouette, some in blackcurrant organza, others in mustard mink and olive-green cashmere. Bailey also reworked it entirely, into beige cotton gabardine ponchos, as well as Scottish lambswool and cashmere blanket styles that lent each look a distinct homespun quality.

Scarves were sumptuously draped around the neck and fastened at the waist by slim hand-painted belts. Every shoe and bag, including an elongated carryall that appeared in the men’s fall collection, were painted by the design team. The effect was an eclectic collage of textiles and embellishments, an ode to the interiors of Charleston, the Bloomsbury group’s East Sussex manor that acted as a countryside retreat from the quarter in central London they inhabited.

This was a collection that was British through and through, but what Bailey and Burberry’s talented workforce manage to do is make it utterly desirable, no matter where in the world you are.

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