Military dress has long informed men's winter fashion; it's one of the few corners to which traditional menswear can stray without alienating the mainstream customer. So it's refreshing when a designer presents a collection that adopts the theme without getting mired in its clichéd and costumey elements.
For Burberry Prorsum's
While the color story did call up standard-issue olives and browns, Bailey allowed a little room for reverie with winter white and cream sweaters, off-black wool jackets, and—for the final look—a gorgeous plum grey fur coat whose shimmer was reined in by black leather straps and appliqués around the forearms and at the shoulders. Precise denim shirts, buttoned all the way up under jackets, kept the feeling casual but not sloppy. Leather appeared in both weathered and polished finishes, wide webbed belts sat high on the waist, and brass buttons—hallmark of military detail—migrated en masse to armor-like sections on sleeve cuffs and shoulders.
It was a series of shearling-lined leather bomber jackets with high double collars that stole the show, though. Their effect—a romanticization, rather than an artifact, of World War II—was present throughout the collection. There were echoes of the high collars on variations in twill and on longer overcoats. And the shearling wasn't just relegated to lining. A few coats and sweaters were fabricated entirely in shearling whose curls and wales articulated beautifully as the models moved. Statement pieces, to be sure, but they were the perfect image of the modern Burberry and its customer—comfortable in the contradiction of donning grown-up Mancunian ex-raver garb while cleaving to the glory of historical British imperialism.
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