Designer Christopher Bailey delivered an inventive, confident collection of modern-day trenches, wowing the critics. The collection "oozed luxury from the fabrics to the delightful twists of expert tailoring," lauded The Wall Street Journal. British Vogue thought it was Bailey's best collection ever, deeming the clothes "[p]oetic, fresh, and completely unique." The critics appreciated fabrics like silvered gabardine and sliced suede, which WWD felt "celebrated volume and texture." Several editors noted that the clothes had a particularly youthful spin, perhaps aimed at the celebrity A-listers dotting the front row. "The message was Burberry gone short, draped, deluxe, and glamorous, and aimed at the very young," declared Style.com; "Burberry is now a hip label for the 18-25 set," agreed Fashion Week Daily. Though he could have done with fewer macaron-hued pastels, Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily called it a "thoroughly assured" show, concluding, "this was a first rate lesson in how to create wearable clothes and present them with panache."
Watch a slideshow of the Burberry Prorsum collection.
Jonathan Saunders's textured, patterned spring collection earned mainly positive reviews, with a few dissenters. WWD asserted that he "skillfully combined sporty fabrics — and punchy colors — with feminine silhouettes," creating a modern, romantic feel. Style.com was similarly inspired, admiring Saunders's "vision of how clean, modern print and color can contribute to a wardrobe." Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily was most impressed by Saunders's artful collage prints, declaring them "the most inventive fabrics" in the London season. Likewise, British Vogue noted "dramatic touches [with] a supercool subtlety," like flashes of neon yellow from beneath a white chiffon dress. But a few critics saw elements in the clothes that felt overdone. The Wall Street Journal was reminded of "the sexy, exposed looks seen at Prada last year and Marc Jacobs in 2007," as well as more bandlike bustiers, which it labeled the "Proenza Schouler effect." "Mr. Saunders should have pulled off a powerful show," ventured Suzy Menkes of the International Herald Tribune. "But the filmy layers of fabric ... seemed familiar."
Watch a slideshow of the Jonathan Saunders collection.
There wasn't much of the unexpected in the Miller sisters' spring collection, but it earned tentatively favorable reviews from most critics. Godfrey Deeny of Fashion Wire Daily called it "a convincingly cool take on easy, rock-chic glamour," and "morning-after chic at its best." Fashion Week Daily lusted after sequined denim jackets and vests, "a great, versatile wardrobe item that will take you from day to night," and British Vogue observed the collection's "no-doubt-about-it sex appeal" for the "Sienna set." (After reading through the detailed show notes, Style.com groused that the skimpy clothes "seemed more suited to Daisy Duke than Sissy Spacek," a professed influence.) And while WWD saw "plenty of cute looks," it asserted that "this commercial line isn't really breaking any new ground." British Vogue agreed, concluding that "the show left us hoping for something slightly lower voltage too next season — we want to see what else they can do."
Watch a slideshow of the Twenty8Twelve collection.