2010 September 22

Runway Reviews: Burberry Prorsum, Marios Schwab

Burberry Prorsum Spring 2011 Burberry Prorsum Spring 2011
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It's a metaphor that's been made before, but it's never seemed so true as today: Christopher Bailey is a rock star. Jackets may be the brand's bread and butter (and editors are still clamoring over last season's phenomenal shearlings), but for Spring, Bailey got tough, showing skin-tight leather moto jackets, quilted leather leggings, and slashed-up ruffled frocks in leopard and snake prints. The beginning of the collection was a bit sweeter, with classic trenches and neon patent belts and accessories, but as soon as the studs came out, it was all but forgotten. Moto jackets were studded with gold and silver spikes and round studs, sometimes just on the sleeves and sometimes covering the whole surface--it was a slightly more dangerous look than Prorsum's last season (in fact, the danger wasn't limited to the jackets; the sky-high platformless shoes caused one girl to take a tumble down the runway), but editors will surely eat it up. Who says ladylike is back? The models took their finale walk to The Who's Pinball Wizard with silver confetti falling from the ceiling, and when Christopher Bailey came out for his bow, the cheering must have been on par with The Who's back in 1969.

From lederhosen to Courtney Love? Marios Schwab went the traditional Austrian route for his Fall 2011 collection (the designer is half Austrian, half Greek), but for Spring, he upped the edge factor with a collection of slipdresses, leather, and tattoo prints straight from grunge rock days of the '90s. Every model sported a matted-down mullet (we can only hope they were wigs) along with a filmy slipdress, often edged in lace, a leather sheath or cropped jacket, often with metal ring hardware, or a tattoo print tee not entirely unlike the tattoo print we saw at Christopher Kane (where Kane had dragons, Schwab had wings, snakes, and evil eyes). There were some impressive pieces--one long-sleeved black silk dress actually had the tatt motif images in lace--but overall, the direction seemed a bit of a puzzling divergence for the young designer.