Burberry champions British vibe

'Strengths, softness and contradictions', welcome to Burberry's vision for autumn/winter 09

I knew I was going to like the Burberry Prorsum catwalk show before it had even started. Why? The opening bars of Adele’s Hometown Glory just have that affect on me.

Thankfully, Christopher Bailey’s vision for autumn/winter 09 more than lived up to our Grammy Award-winning star’s winsome refrains (and the sounds of Duffy, Razorlight and Peter Gabriel, whose songs made up the rest of the gorgeous soundtrack), awash as it was with heart-warming, sensitive pieces that almost made one wish it was the middle of winter again.

Inspired by the likes of Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth, Countess of Devon, the ‘Modern Nostalgia‘ collection was designed to reflect Burberry’s ‘strengths, softness and contradictions’, explained Bailey in his show notes.

To this end, iconic shapes like the Burberry trench were reinvented in soft tweed-like fabrics with full pleated skirts. A simple kilt became so much more thanks to the tactile fabric it was crafted from and the tough rubber-soled platform boots it was worn with.

The Burberry check, present, but not overwhelmingly so, was glimpsed peaking from the lining of black fur snoods, while those beautiful dresses which have become something of a Burberry mainstay in recent seasons, were this time given a naive, prairie-style fit and spun from simple white cotton.

Jewellery, like the edgy shoe shapes, was juxtaposed with the softness of the clothes, seemingly cut from gold barbed wire and then tangled up the arm or around the models’ necks.

For the most British of brands, however, this was the most British of collections and nothing could detract from the intrinsic home counties feel of this collection, with its fair-isle knits, tweeds and checks, tapestry florals, shearling coats and tartan prints.

A hometown hit, as Adele might say.

SEE ALL THE CATWALK PHOTOS HERE

WATCH THE RUNWAY VIDEO HERE

Report from Carla Bevan in Milan

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