Riccardo Tisci was resolved to go to the beach despite the fact that the day was windy, rainy, and dreary on an industrial neighbourhood in the southeast of London. It is hardly surprising considering that the journey was nine days behind schedule and that there were obstacles to overcome on the way there.
After being absent from the schedule for a few of seasons, Burberry was scheduled to make its triumphant comeback to London Fashion Week during this season.
However, Queen Elizabeth II eventually passed away. The sudden declaration of a time of national mourning in Britain threw many previously established arrangements into turmoil. The majority of brands decided to keep operating. Burberry opted to wait. On the new show date, September 26, which is typically a day for travel from the Milan shows to the Paris displays, a significant portion of the fashion industry’s travelling circus rerouted back to London.
And with very few exceptions — despite the relocation of the event to a different location and the continuous precipitation — everyone was there as expected. There was Kanye West, dressed in all black with diamond flip-flops on his feet. Also present were the British rapper Stormzy, the actor Daniel Kaluuya, and the members of the London Contemporary Orchestra, all of whom were sitting with their instruments while wearing baseball hats, white shirts, and black suits. Prepare yourself for a collection that Mr. Tisci has said in his show notes was inspired by the seashore towns of the United Kingdom.
Burberry has, maybe more than any other fashion company, been responsible for defining what the rest of the world thinks of when they think of Britain. Since his arrival at the house in 2018, Mr. Tisci has been struggling with the challenge of how to market Burberry when the atmosphere in Britain itself is so volatile and ambiguous.
His most recent concept was seen on Naomi Campbell, Irina Shayk, Karen Elson, Erin O’Connor, Bella Hadid, and Mariacarla Boscono, all of whom are considered to be among the most prominent models in the world. They, along with the other models, donned polished outfits that probed the condition of beach dress — or undress — in a place where socioeconomic status often translates to particular sartorial standards and with weather that is infamously unfavourable throughout the summer months.
Long, oversized trousers were matched with a sensual bodice or a diamanté string bikini and two matching bags that were fastened to the upper arms like pool floaties. The jackets were loosely knotted about the waist in case the clouds came in, and the jackets were worn in case it rained. (With rising prices throughout the world on everyone’s mind, this concept was also seen at Moschino in Milan.) Large circular cutouts were made around the bikini line of slinky floor-length dresses in a range of colours and designs. The dresses were floor-length.
Various reinterpretations of Burberry’s distinctive gabardine trench and world-famous plaid were, as expected, among the offerings (notably another string bikini and arm bags, teamed with a printed stretch bodysuit). There was also some black Victoriana cutaway leather bondage wear, printed soccer shirts, and a series of silky looks, with delicate bra and knicker overlays, that were deliberately creased to reflect the wrinkles of clothes that have been truly loved and lived in. All of these items were shown in the collection.
Even while the weather on British beaches and in the country as a whole may be pretty dreary at times, there is still a general sense of upbeat pluck and tenacity in the invigorating air.
Nevertheless, his remarks seemed to be divorced from the reality that was being shown. This was a beach excursion that seemed melancholy, even tragic, as the foreboding swell of the orchestra carried the climax to the runway.