Burberry Spring 2012 Collection: Army Wives

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Well, not your typical army wives! Designer Christopher Bailey envisioned creative and glamorous women whose husbands are stationed in the Far East, taking their lovely structured trench coats, cocktail dresses, and parka coats and decking them out, handicrafts-style. Not only has Burberry Prorsum gone where their once-traditional plaids have never gone before – no small feat after so much recent reinvention – by magnifying and abstracting them into tribal weaves, they have almost eradicated the plaids completely. The gutsy collection replaced checked patterns with stripes, zigzags, knits, and deliberately haphazard prints in vibrant, in-your-face hues. Brilliant blues, spicy mustards, fiery oranges, and ocean teals stood alone and got mashed together, at once creating a rich painterly palette and stating that color-blocking isn’t going anywhere just yet. Thank goodness Bailey also grounded it in anti-overwhelming neutrals.

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This crafty army wife wears her shirtdresses trimmed in colorful wooden beads, her evening frocks covered in loud mosaics, and her parkas with some raffia trimming the edges. And don’t forget those quirky military hats, an homage to her uniformed husband.

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