Burberry: Menswear in the wilderness at Horseferry Road
Though February is traditional the season of women’s ready-to-wear in London, this month Burberry staged a purely menswear collection, and entitled it 'Escapes.'
These clothes marked the first time that the house’s Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci had presented a “menswear-focused” collection for Burberry. It turned out to be a tailoring tour de force by Riccardo, presented in one of Tisci’s favored sets – multiple levels of pale plywood and corrugated beige curtains.
Pre-show, the Italian set the mood by pampering certain VIPs and editors - sending them all modernist safari chairs, on which was printed the exact geographic co-ordinates of the show. Staged inside the brand’s London headquarters at Horseferry House in Westminster, online and with no live audience on Monday, the fourth day of the five-day London Fashion Week.
While on social media, the designer showed videos of fit young men racing through parks and countryside before ending up in center of London; camera shots rotating around the heads of his cast, or images of the show invitation featuring 'Wilderness' being carefully sewn on a sweatshirt.
Tisci began and continued with Burberry’s signature garment, the trench coat. But his were trenches with a difference; showing them with a classic front but cut off at the back as a ribbed jerkin. Presenting them in classic beige or muddy plaids. Others came lapel-free recalling the early '60s style of Pierre Cardin; still others in ingenious pleated finishes.
Tisci does loves a man in a skirt, this season showing knee-length looks in a bashed metallic cooper or others in Fortuny-worthy multi-pleats. Worn with natty PVC leggings, ideal for a cool cèilidh at a Highland Wedding.
Steadycam cameramen following each model around the undulating set, even the only two gals – pouting veteran Edie Campbell and another blonde. The set riffing on the wandering terrain of Burberry’s renovated flagship on Regent Street.
And with North Americans suffering through a giant ice storm, Tisci had the ideal gear: marvelous Yeti rapper coats in battleship-gray faux fur; or mighty duffle coats with patch Velcro straps, finished with rural mayor silk scarf belts. All topped by deer motif beanies and anchored by boots sculpted to look like hooves. Wilderness indeed.
For more studious moments like walking to the library in a leafy university, he showed faux-fur V-neck cricket sweaters; double 'B'-logo Varsity baseball jackets, sometimes sleeveless; or great padded patchwork work shirts.
Like all major fashion brands, Burberry has been buffeted by the lockdown, though its 4% drop in revenue to £688 million in the final quarter of last year meant it performed better than many of its rivals. So, considering that 15% of its stores closed, Tisci’s ideas for Burberry are clearly finding a following.
So, while this collection may have been entitled 'Wilderness' and 'Escapes,' Tisci and Burberry are far from being in the commercial boondocks, far from it.
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