Burberry London Fashion Week Women’s S/S 2019
Riccardo Tisci presents a triumphant and archive-exploring debut for the British heritage brand
Scene setting: The weekend before his anticipated runway debut, newly appointed chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci revealed his transformation of Burberry’s Regent Street flagship. The space – reimagined as a sleek gallery space features sections dedicated to the British heritage brands most renowned signatures – and is swathed in velvet curtains, plush pile carpet and glossy lacquered and mirrored surfaces. These furnishings formed the backdrop to Tisci’s runway debut. Its sumptuous Vauxhall location was lined with beige velvet stools and polished wood armchairs, and a snaking raised catwalk surrounded by panels of mirror. Like the beige curtains in Burberry’s flagship, the glass wall and ceiling space was shrouded in darkness and covered with swathes of fabric. As the show began, these were released, with the audience illuminated by sunlight and serenaded with an exclusive soundtrack by Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja.
Mood board: Britain’s identity is in a state of flux, and it was the different facets and decades of its heritage that fascinated Tisci. The vast, 130-plus looks from the men’s and women’s collection were divided into sections. Take the opening element of power-ready executive silhouettes; reinterpreted trench coats in silk or with chain detailing, blouses in deconstructed Burberry check, pinstripe tailoring and soft car coats. Or the second punky section which recalled the couture-meets-street aesthetic Tisci honed at Givenchy, all thick sole creeper Mary Jane sandals, buckle-detail trench coats, cowhide prints and trousers with suspenders. The third section culminated in elegant jersey eveningwear – draped and chain detail black dresses, a snippet of the night time silhouettes which became a Tisci signature at Givenchy, sure to drum up drama on the red carpet.
Best in show: Last month Tisci unveiled Burberry’s new Peter Saville-designed logo; one imagined as a series of tessellated ‘T’ and ‘B’ sans serif letters. This print featured on a series of sleek foulard silks cut into gauzy blouses, skirts, headscarves and trenchcoats with flowing silk panels. A symbol of Tisci’s new visual language for the house, and a marker of a triumphant debut collection. §