LONDON, United Kingdom — The news about David Bowie’s death came through the morning of Burberry’s men’s show in January, so it fell to Christopher Bailey to be the first in fashion to mark his passing. There was little he could do other than play the music, while makeup artist Wendy Rowe glittered a few of the models. With his new collection, he’d had the time to work up a proper response, or at least to acknowledge the flashy glory of glam rock, the most far-reaching of Bowie’s ch-ch-ch-changes. Glam transformed a generation. Appropriately, it had that effect on Burberry on Monday afternoon.
There were some mulleted hairdos, and a few more smears of glitter than in January, but it was less the spirit of Stardust that presided over the show than Bailey’s own gleeful indulgence in the sheen of sequins, lamé, brocade, gleaming jacquards and glossy python. The poppy little outfits that he cut from this finery were the underlay for a series of dramatic coats. It was the same formula the designer applied to his menswear, but it was more successful here because the contrast between outer-and-innerwear was so much more dramatic.
Edie Campbell opened in a jacquarded mini-shift under a navy greatcoat trimmed in regimental red. The look embodied the blissful ignorance of fashion codes Bailey spoke of so wistfully in January, the exuberance he remembered from his own youth that was able to combine thriftshop finds in exciting new ways. That same sensibility seeped out of other looks in the collection: the oversize plaid coat over a sequinned shift, say, or the check coat in a brushed mohair that overlaid a silvery lamé smock, or the pop art herringbone that was paired with a green brocade tunic.
They weren’t clothes you’d want to spend too much time thinking about, which made them perfect for Burberry’s new straight-to-consumer initiative. See them now, want them now, get them now…or soon-ish anyway.