#SuzyLFW: Burberry: Two Locations And Four Fashion Sections
The fashion world has heard so much about the customer who has everything. But what about a Burberry show that has something for everybody?
For his second outing, Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci turned out a tour de force: bold and all-embracing, but divided into sections that were as definitive as the type of customers they were aimed at.
First came the age gap: a teen scene of young people who were the same age that Tisci was when he first came to London from Italy as a pre-millennial fashion student in the 1990s. After showing the colourful and collectible street wear that was invented over the past decade, the show switched to the grown-ups. As they had last season, the women wore tailoring with a focus on beige; the menswear included smart suits and evening clothes, but not of the club kind.
“I was – 20 years ago – in London, when society freedom to express yourself. It was like a message,” said Tisci of the show that he named ‘Tempest’, in honour of the ever-changing British weather.
“I have been thinking a lot about England as a country of contrasts, from the structured to the rebellious and free, and I wanted to celebrate how these elements coexist,” the designer said.
“My first season at Burberry was about starting to develop my alphabet for the house, identifying new letters and new codes,” he continued. “Now I’m starting to put these letters together to form the first chapter for a new era at Burberry.”
The contrast, Tisci said, ranged “from aristocracy and the Queen, to the street and the shopping mall with edgy kids.”
The latter produced that symbol of raw England: a man in his puffer coat wrapped in a giant Union Jack. The designer also presented a show at the Tate Modern museum on London’s South Bank – in fact twin shows, as if they were two sides of the same coin. He placed half the audience on elegant, modern banks of smooth wood, and the others – including children – in a round area, enclosed in metal climbing frames. The music for both was mostly from the 1990s.
When it came to the clothes, did the designer feel that he had to keep the collections regimented into four sections? Or could he have mashed it all together? The answer was practical.
“Price-wise as well as need-wise, a mature person has got different needs from the younger generation,” Tisci said.
It is understandable that the designer would draw from his memory bank the things he had experienced when living in London at an impressionable age. But it was the precision of the different elements that stood out. Although formulaic, the show produced some fine clothes from the very first: a navy jacket with scarlet collar and chest, worn with a sporty skirt in green and black.
The pieces that followed looked equally desirable for a teen’s closet.
One of the most striking things about the show was its enormous quantity: 106 outfits including, of course, mashed-up versions of the famous Burberry checks, or a sneaky animal print on a sweater’s neckline. But there were equal numbers of little black dresses and cool mixes of sporty and sleek, including football stripes on a formal suit.
Does the world want an array of bra-top dresses or another round of the beige coats and suits that Tisci launched last season? With big stores across the globe, Burberry needs to supply all the needs and demands of its potential clientele. And the more mature customers were offered quality in quantity.
All in all, it was an impressive second round that included unexpected offerings, such as women’s pastel suits and the same tailored shapes smothered in feathers.
Tisci found not just a season, but also a reason, for each outfit and gave an overarching reply.
“For me, Burberry is lifestyle – not a fashion label,” he said. “It represents pretty much a whole country.”