As far as colors go, burgundy is a pretty lackluster follow-up to all the pops of yellow we saw for spring. That age-old mix of of red and brown brings to mind ’80s corduroy, Avon lipstick and micro-suede couches sold at discount in suburban furniture warehouses — hardly something women would clamor to wear. Simply put, the maroon parade that marched its way through New York was kind of a letdown.
Then the London shows came along and things started to change. In Christopher Kane’s hands, the shade became sexually charged, gothic and a little dangerous on his leather-trimmed dresses, padded coat and cigarette trousers. To be frank, Kane used a shade that more so resembled freshly drawn blood than living room curtains with a tech-y, moire fabric that changed tones as the models moved. And that’s exactly what made it so memorable. The costume designers for “True Blood” should take note. Vampire Pam’s closet could use an update.
Acne, meanwhile, gave burgundy a futuristic sheen in glossy leather pieces such as sleek trousers, a belted sculptural coat and full skirt. They looked subversive, directional and, yet, timeless. You could wear these without looking like you’ve succumbed to the trend of the season and pull them out a few years later and still look modern.
Most memorable, though, were Sarah Burton’s sublime plays on texture at McQ. Burgundy looks best when done in rich, plush, touchable things and Burton exploited this to maximum effect. Take her V-neck dress made out of shaved mink on top and embroidered velvet on the bottom, accessorized with leather elbow-length gloves. It looked glamorous without reading old; it was romantic while still maintaining an edge — a world away from the suburban living room.