Burberry - Tony Town and Cool Country
Sat Feb 28, 8:26 am ET
Fashion Wire Daily
Godfrey Deeny

Milan – Town and country, relaxed yet out there, fashioned up and still understated the fall 2009 collection by Burberry Prorsum shown Friday, Feb. 27, in Milan cleverly captured the dichotomy that is contemporary fashion.

Designers this week in Italy are torn between two temptations - creating classy fashionable clothes that hopefully will lure women back into their boutiques, or making fashion for those who are hoping that the wintery winds of the recession will pass by.

Burberry's creative director Christopher Bailey managed to address both concerns in a first rate show, that was classy yet practical from its to-the-knee dresses, cut forgivingly flared below the waist and flatteringly trim at the shoulder. Bailey's dresses featured Grecian goddess shoulders and semi corset tops, made in scrunched up faded metal finish fabrics.

Bailey also went for a whole protective theme - a big trend in men's fashion - and an idea he employed in layered shearling coats, shaved back on the torso, all shaggy below the waist.

"I wanted something that wasn't, well, frivolous," said Bailey backstage.

But his best ideas came from his inspirational duo - Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth, Countess of Devon. Christopher bought an etching of the Anglo aristocrat at auction and used the image in gauzy crepe dresses, the highlight of this rather sublime show.

Besides the protectionist moment, the designer also took another idea from his men's collection, the snood, a circular scarf - for guys in a macro signature plaid and for women in black fur.

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