Burberry Prorsum Womenswear A/W11

With the biggest A-list guests in tow, the show at Kensington Gardens saw a coats-focused collection in dark ochres and earthy tones

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Shown in a huge custom-built tent located in Kensington Gardens, Christopher Bailey's presentation of his newest collection for Burberry Prorsum drew in the crowds. Both in person, with the front row including Samantha Cameron, Alexa Chung, Jamie Hince, Carl Barat, Anna Wintour and Julia Restoin Roitfeld to name a few, but also to Piccadilly Circus where it was screened live to the public. Almost the entire collection was based around coats of one kind or another in a number of colours. Bright greens, blues, red and ochre's ranged through to darker browns and earthy tones.

Pattern also featured heavily with plaids and checks throughout. Military accents, a staple of Prorsum, included epaulets and high button collars. Cinched waists were also common, seen both in the outerwear but also extravagantly in a quilted leather skirt – one of the few seen. Overall the collection continued in the line Bailey has been treading for the past few seasons with a nod to over the top luxury and glamour but done in a way that maintains elegance and class. The show itself was built around that same idea, with opulence and comfort being at the centre of the experience, which closed with a full pyrotechnic snow storm raining down on the models as they returned backstage from their final walk.

Dazed Digital: What inspired this collection?
Christopher Bailey:
The model Gene Shrimpton used to be in a few Burberry campaigns in the sixties, shot by David Bailey. I love her and have become quite obsessed with those archive photographs, so I wanted to refer to that. Also the weather. That is always important.

DD: Can you tell me about the fabric choices?
Christopher Bailey:
There was fur, sheepskin, imitation fur made from wool. We used a lot of old machines to make up the fabrics actually, ones from the 40s and 50s. There was also patent accents on some of the pieces.

DD: Why did you use those old machines?
Christopher Bailey:
Well we couldn't get what we wanted, and the machines were there and had been used to produce in the past, so we dusted them off and got them going again.

DD: What was it you were looking for in the fabrics?
Christopher Bailey:
We wanted a full bodied texture to the tweeds and the cable knits as well as the bouclé wool.

DD: Flatcaps featured throughout the entirety of the show.
Christopher Bailey:
The flatcaps came from Burberry's roots, along with the weather again. We did them up in beautiful mink to give that luxury element and feel.

DD: Also, the collection, although yes it is Autumn Winter, was heavily based around coats and outerwear.
Christopher Bailey:
There were slip dresses and skirts in there as well, but yes the collection was based pretty much entirely around the coats. We worked in military ideas as well as flared sleeves and quilted leather alongside the bold tweed and wool pieces.

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