It's too bad Christopher Bailey's fall 2013 Burberry show missed Valentine's Day by only about four days. Dubbed 'Trench Kiss' by the designer, it was the most romantic, loved-up collection we've seen from the designer. Perhaps it was a love note to all of Bailey's adoring fans--the front row included A-listers like Douglas Booth, Olivia Palermo, Melanie Laurent, Michelle Dockery, Rita Ora, Freida Pinto, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Kate Beckinsale.
There were hearts and leopard prints, which gave a quirky, girly twist to the brand's signature trenches and daywear. Sheer rubber, believe it or not, actually looked classy and oh-so-pretty in Bailey's hands. The designer used the fabric on trenchcoat sleeves, skirts, and a fitted top. Glossy leather in oxblood and black colorways on skirts and trenches lent a slightly S&M edge to it all--though it was tempered with the brand's conservative staples. On that tack, the simply-tailored wool outerwear--done up in red, camel, and black--are the kind of investment pieces that will have broad appeal.
Perforated leather dresses and supple cowhide jackets were the statement pieces. Bold striped shirt and pants combos were elegant yet preppy, and even made us feel a bit homesick for Kors and Hilfiger.
Backstage, makeup artist Wendy Rowe told us the beauty look was "nude, but a glowing nude." Since the collection has 'kiss' in its title, after all, extra attention was paid to the lips. Rowe used lip mist in a "trench" color, and then dabbed a gloss called "Trench Kiss" which has gold pigment in it on the girls' cupid bows to get that really "kissable" look.
Bailey also tapped Brit Award-winning musician Tom Odell to perform his new single "Hold Me" with a full choir and band on the catwalk. The singer has worked with the designer in the past, playing the opening of a Burberry store and supplying music for Bailey's Spring 2013 show, but this marked the first time Odell performed live at a runway show.
"Christopher emailed me on Christmas, and we got chatting, and I said let's do something more and he said, I've got this great idea for the next fashion show, so that's kind of how it came about," Odell explained after the show.
As for Burberry's clothes, Odell said, "I do actually [own a Burberry trench.] That's because they gave me one. I just think they're a brilliant brand and I'm so proud to be working with someone like Christopher Bailey. He's amazing to work with because he really respects your art."
With love in the air, we had to ask Odell: Did he have his eye on any of the models?
"I haven't really. I saw Cara though.. she walked into my dressing room when I was getting ready accidentally."
You mean accidentally, on purpose?
"I don't think so."
Maybe you could be the next Harry Styles...
"Oh no, I don't want to go down that road."