Scene setting: Burberry is not just a brand, it’s a British institution, so it’s fitting that for his sophomore collection for the label, Riccardo Tisci presented his show inside The Tanks of the industrialist Tate Modern. An expanse of cages lined the walls of the in-the-round space. As the show began, a host of over 100 adolescents clambered onto this construct, climbing up ladders, burrowing into tunnels, whooping, shrieking and hollering. The accompanying show music was created by MIA. She designed two soundscapes that moved through a series of genres from the 1990s to the present day.
Mood board: Burberry is a brand that has both high and low associations. Its signature check has transcended the British class system in recent decades. These touchstones are important to Tisci. During his tenure at Givenchy, his silhouettes masterfully bought together the world of streetwear and haute couture. His 106 look-strong men’s and women’s collection for Burberry, touched on sports and sophistication, the laddish and the ladylike, the elegant and the athletic.
Cue, like Tisci’s debut, a show split into sections. One abounding in football-strip shapes, deconstructed rugby shirts sported as skirts, sporty gem-embellished mini dresses, puffa jackets and bold Burberry check coats. The other more grown-up segment in a colour palette of predominantly signature beige, green and gold, featured deconstructed trenchcoats, leather pencil skirts, duffle coats and demure suiting. Clothes to entice a Burberry customer diverse in age and aesthetic persuasion.
Best in show: Last season Tisci pioneered bringing elegance back to the catwalk. The prevalence of foulard silks, sharp skirts and beige tones on A/W 2019’s catwalks so far, are a testament to his aesthetic effect. A series of women’s pieces only enhanced this further, including a trenchcoat spliced into sections, with a visible Burberry check lining and a silk skirt tessellated with the brand’s new Peter Saville-designed logo.