On Friday, Burberry staged an in-person runway show—the house’s first in two years—at the grandiose Central Hall Westminster in the heart of London, a stone’s throw away from the Houses of Parliament. It doesn’t get more British than Westminster and Burberry together again, as creative director Riccardo Tisci noted when discussing the collection, saying it “embodies an intangible essence that is Britishness, a unique fusion of honouring the beauty of the past, whilst also remaining focussed on the future.”
Amid tense national politics in the United Kingdom and war in Ukraine, Tisci was thinking locally about how the Brits have dressed for centuries, and how they want to dress moving forward. His keen eye for streetwear and what the youth wants to wear right now melded with classic English sensibility in what is arguably his most successful collection for the brand yet.
The opulent setting was configured as a private dining room, with guests including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Simone Ashley stationed around the runway as models such as Bella Hadid and Irina Shayk walked onstage and around the tables. The clothes started with classic Tisci silhouettes: dresses and skirts in classic Burberry tartans nipped high at the waist, paired with simple blouses and sleek leather thigh-high boots.
In an ingenious move, Tisci rendered Burberry’s iconic Equestrian Knight Design in crystal—blown-up to cover a sweater set entirely and repeated on black silk dresses. Workwear coats and sharp blazers paired seamlessly with polka dots, scarves, and patchwork matching sets, all working harmoniously to drive home the impossibly cool modern-day flair.
Tisci has been playing around with the iconic Burberry trench silhouette since he joined the house in 2018, but no other iterations have been as successful as the strapless gowns he created with trench-ified corsets. Rendered in classic beige, puffed black, and even yellow feathers, these gowns felt instantly fresh without veering into gimmicky territory, as some other experimental pieces have in past collections.
This time around, the austerity of the clothes was counteracted with fresh accessories like crystal facepieces, technical glasses, and baseball caps. Whereas in previous seasons, Tisci was more likely to roll the dice, this season felt decidedly restrained and studied in its approach. Maybe the sober location provided a cleaner slate for the pieces to simply be admired, or maybe Tisci is filtering more of what he wants to say into what works for a customer buying clothes today. Either way, not showing on the schedule and on his own terms seems to have worked in his favor.
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