No raindrops next spring. Just before the show started, workers rolled back black blinds from the glass roof, letting the Milanese sun illuminate — and glint off — Christopher Bailey’s shiny and sartorial collection. The show opened with a flourish of metallic silk, bright as sticky candy foil, in purple, blue, green, fuchsia, and orange. Bailey worked his metallics into shirts and trenches and slipped them onto the collars of cabans and car coats. He sent out bubble-shaped, multi-toned bomber jackets as vivid as jockey’s silks, and put dark socks — and flashy metallic sandals — on models’ feet.
The color palette was influenced by one of Bailey’s favorite artists — David Hockney — while the collection’s hand-drawn geometric prints were inspired by the Bloomsbury Group, specifically the work of the painter, potter, and textile designer Duncan Grant.
In a bid to temper all the exuberance, Bailey cut slim-fitting and sober suits, in deep navy seersucker or cotton and nylon Prince of Wales check. Trousers were narrow and often high-cut, with two pleats at the front, and button details on the waistband. The designer often layered the shiny with the matte, or slipped a dark, slim-fitting jacket over a long, loose printed top. While some of it seemed a bit heavy for summer, especially sitting in the sweltering 90-degree temperatures in Milan, it was a rich, chic, and sophisticated collection.