The Lace Whisperer: Burberry Prorsum Mens Spring 2016

Over the past several seasons, the menswear category has seen enormous growth. After decades of playing second fiddle to the women’s collections, the men’s fashion week runways are home to some of today’s most innovative designs.

A lot of the hubbub surrounding the latest menswear looks has had to do with the ongoing conversation about gender. Designers from Craig Green to Rick Owens seem to have made it their purpose to push the boundaries of menswear. This innovation manifests in more ways than one: Green’s latest show saw male and female models decked out in ensembles that merged utilitywear with martial arts garb.

I love experimentation as much as the next person, but my personal tastes lie in a more traditional sphere.  To me, fabulous menswear involves the designer putting a twist on the classics, either by bringing new life into an existing element or bringing another one in all together.

The latter is exactly what went down at Burberry Prorsum, where last week creative head Christopher Bailey showed what is no doubt one of the house’s strongest collections. The silhouettes, though slim, were standard, and the line-up featured everything you would expect from a men’s collection: suit jackets,  trousers, a trench coat here and there. But Bailey breathed new life into these staples with the use of one fabric: lace.

That’s right: the show’s title, “Straight-Laced” wasn’t talking about the overall aesthetic (in fact, the collection was anything but), rather a literal reference key fabric of the collection: This season, the Burberry boy is covered in lace. The material was, in the words of WWD, “in all its Chantilly, macramé and Nottingham glory”, and looked fantastic under many a sport coat (some even had coordinating ties!) and atop those luxe joggers. And even though lace screams femininity, each look still came across as undeniably masculine. This is my favorite part of the collection, for never have I seen a designer display a fabric’s chameleonic qualities to such affect. The result is, simply, marvelous.

All that said, the collection was not without hints in the womenswear direction. The lace the foundations upon which the menswear outing was built was in fact a nudge in the direction of Burberry’s latest Resort collection. Some of the stand-out pieces from that line-up- all of them lace -made their runway debut alongside the menswear, similarities the parallels between them. Wether Bailey will continue to use lace as a common thread in further collections has yet to be seen. Should this indeed be the case, I dare say that no one will be disappointed.

What are your thoughts on Burberry’s Spring 2016 menswear collection? Did you love that lace or did it leave you unimpressed?


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