Milan Gets Wet & Wild: Burberry Prorsum Plays In The Rain, While Pringle and D&G Go Nautical

As Spring 2009 is already rife with nature and weather-oriented inspirations, it is no surprise to see water play a seminal role in the themes and palettes of many of the first major shows of Milan’s Spring 2009 Fashion Week. On the fashion forecast: stormy English Summers at Burberry Prorsum, while Pringle‘s evocation of the azure depths of swimming pools and inevitably cute nautical themes at D&G also echo H20’s influence. Below we showcase some of the highlights.

“I like going back to nature. I want the collection to be all about outerwear,” says Christopher Bailey of S/S 09’s Burberry Prorsum’s ready-to-wear, a collection he dubbed “Garden Girls”. In doing so, Bailey conjured up a muddy, yet vibrant fantasy of rain-soaked gardens and the sort of chic drowned rats of the English countryside that Ray Davies would sing about. On the runway, that meant sending out a full range of color-drained trenches, crusher hats, and no-frills separates that characterized “crumpled elegance”. Many of the best pieces were in neutrals nuanced in ombre and degrade effects;a brief flirtation with low-key bronze and copper towards the end also worked well, as did the metal-enriched hemlines. Burberry capitalized upon its recent winning streak in the accessories department with enticing python and raffia totes, chunky, blocked wrist cuffs, long swingy “heavy metal” botanical and geo-inspired necklaces, and peep-toe laced oxford/slingback hybrid with fearsome conical heels. It was another strong showing from a the comeback label of the millenium. Enjoy the video of S/S 09 Burberry Spring 2009 here.

Fellow British legacy brand Pringle of Scotland also channeled inspiration of the aquatic variety in their Spring 2009 collection. Apparently moved by David Hockney‘s hyperrealistic swimming pool paintings, creative director Clare Waight Keller translated the bold aquamarine hues and rippled textures very literally to cotton dresses and knit twinsets, where the deepest blues appeared in swirled brushstrokes against white or navy. In other cases, a more generic nautical motif worked to less impressive effects on striped, vaguely Chloé-esque pullovers and pants. The ribbed (almost skeletal) knits and sleeveless cableknit sweaters were an asset, though, and will serve the Pringle customer well for cooler summer nights.

Speaking of nautical, it was anchors away at D&G, who put out a supremely camp and often cute display of red, white, and blue options for next Spring. The collection was self-evident but mostly wearable, aside from a few unfortunate moments that involved plastic transparency and a woefully literal crustaceous eveningwear theme. Overall, it was clean, linear, and nostalgic. We aren’t sure the nod to classic swimcaps, beach bonnets, and floppy hats will translate sans embarassment to real-world seaside millinery, but those scarves and striped basics like harem pants and boatnecked tees were fantastic. A video of the show is here.

Images courtesy of WWD.

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