Just as everyone was taking their seats at the Burberry Prorsum show, my iPhone trembled with that familiar little buzz. It was an e-mail from Christopher Bailey, the brand’s chief creative officer, subject line: Welcome to Hyde Park, telling me that Burberry’s live social stream was available before the show started, with him signing off: All the best, Christopher. Let me just clarify that there is no sharing of personal correspondence here; nothing for the Leveson Inquiry to worry about.
And it’s not at all unlikely that this message wasn’t also personally addressed to every other person in the audience too. Bailey has been a tireless proponent (and fearless exponent) of the power of technology in building his vision of brand Burberry, using the notion of connectivity to further its place in the scheme of things. So there was something wonderfully human-scaled—old-fashioned, even (and not in a bad way)—about taking the idea of intimacy into the physical, not virtual, realm, with his Burberry Prorsum spring 2013 collection.
For what must be the first time ever, it was suffused with, well, sex. A kind of playful, joyful sexiness, albeit, with Bailey working everything around the cape and the corset. (And the trench, of course, but more on that later.) The words that sprang to mind were “eroticized optimism.”