To Highbury Fields, then, for the crescendo of Burberry’s flurry of fashion week activity. The brand has been painting the town blue heralding the arrival of creative director Daniel Lee’s first collection in store and building anticipation for his sophomore effort.
Lee’s Burberry is embracing a new sort of style democracy, so Tufnell Parks’ favourite caff, Norman’s had a Burbs makeover (and visit from Mary Berry); Bond Street station became Burberry street, streets were bedecked with its equestrian knight flags, as well as gorilla stencilling across the capital’s pavements. The juxtaposition continued at the showground where bemused dog walkers and school kids looked on as Rachel Weisz, Kylie Minogue, Damon Albarn, Skepta, Bukayo Saka, Mo Farah, Neneh Cherry, Jodie Comer and Top Boys Michael Ward, Kano and Barry Keoghan strode into the venue.
The show itself took place in Lee’s own neighbourhood, under a giant green tent – somewhere between army surplus and posh festival, guests sat on green benches covered in padded green blankets, steel water canteens proffered on each seat. A Norman’s food truck was dolling out coffee and Guinness bread. Staff were dressed in low key beige slacks and blue knit jumpers, a clear delineation from previous show incarnations where greeters were in strict black suits. This was luxury, but with a cool egalitarian bent.
Lee is clearly getting into his stride at the house. This was a more grounded, grown up collection than his debut, it felt focused and sharply edited. The opening look premiered his version of the iconic (and super-seller) trench – this iteration in black, collar up, belted low on the hip creating a cooler, more relaxed silhouette than classic waisted versions.
The new shape was iterated in white with a blown out printed chain motif, a light beige with thick hip belt, worn by Liberty Ross with a deep green lip offered a punk-y edge; another came bright red; a purplish grey one was worn off the shoulder, it’s wide beige check lining linking back to the house heritage. The print was repeated on green silk men’s shirts, on the front of black trousers and knee length shorts, and in gold on a white pleated asymmetric-hemmed skirts worn by Karen Elson.
Moments of flourish came in delectable fringed knitted polo neck dresses – and on a men’s sleeveless top – which moved dramatically; a chiffon pleated military jacket in his azure blue was entirely seductive. Flashes of fun came via crystal covered backless loafers, heeled, leather versions offered a neat punctuation. The crescent shaped Shield bag was slung nonchalantly across the body, some with satisfyingly chunky silver chains. It felt like an ode to red, white and blue Britishness in all its idiosyncrasies, from the dogs barking at the opening of the soundtrack to the strawberry, pear and cherry prints and embroideries, to the vibrant poppies, forget-me-nots and roses strewn in primary brights on the finale looks. Precision met with ease. Punk and street, high and low, Lee’s Burberry looks set to thrill.
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