Christopher Bailey funneled his artistic passions into a laid-back, tactile collection that riffed on the lives of a clutch of early-20th-century British painters. There was nothing buttoned-up about any of it: Long, painted check or flowered scarves fluttered under cropped suit jackets while heavier equestrian blankets were slung over the shoulders of substantial coats — ready to keep the drafts in the artist’s studio at bay. Coats were fashioned from long-haired mohair or patchwork shearling, while silk shirts were printed with city street maps or florals and worn over mesh T-shirts. Models, some in chunky Aran sweaters, carried big leather and suede bags hand-painted with flowers, or colored carpet bags.
Bailey said his inspiration was “painters on a journey, romantic painters with a masculine point of view,” and the artists’ efforts at self-expression. The designer said he was inspired in particular by Lucian Freud, Ben Nicholson, Christopher Wood and Duncan Grant, four Brits who painted landscapes and portraits — all with a very different hand. And while his collection was all about color, texture and layering, it was far from clunky. Trenches were lightweight and fluid — and some were even reversible.