IT WAS time for Burberry’s homecoming. Returning to the London Fashion Week schedule after the appointment of British designer Daniel Lee, it was a long awaited moment for the industry after the aesthetic shift of Riccardo Tisci’s tenure of the heritage brand.
The direction of how Lee would take the House was contemplated by many, and after a stream of Instagram posts that began to hint at what he was planning to do, it became abundantly clear that Burberry was about to become very British again.
Inviting household names of the nation to Kennington Park in South London, the scene, a set built by the new creative director, was set on a cold Monday evening. Inspired by the outdoor history of the brand, Lee wanted to take the outerwear aspect of Burberry and bring it forward.
The intimate interior, taken from tents made by the brand in the early twentieth century echoed the same protective nature to the famous trench coats, slashing the previous entry into streetwear and bring back decadent countryside attire.
Like any new chapter, a reinvention of some sort of branding comes into play, and in Lee’s case he has taken the Equestrian Knight Design and slightly evolved it… but not by too much, respecting what it has stood for. This isn’t about change for Lee, that is clear, he is helping to guide us to the return to its roots.
The check was in full swing – blanket coats, knits and tailoring adorned the hailed pattern, while pleated-tartan kilts were worn over trousers, giving a nod to Scotland; chunky Aran and argyle knitwear paid homage to the North; and the English Rose was the final stamp of approval that Britain was back in Burberry.
Of course, the trench coat was the main silhouette of the collection and the first to make its way around the runway. Debuting with oversized green fur lapels, the favoured item had a slight upgrade – but not enough to mark any sort of fury from the classic countryman.
Slogan t-shirts, knitted duck hats and cosy overly large bags, designed for holding all your belongings, or a picnic, were clear additions to AW23 that would financially fuel Lee’s vision of what he wants his Burberry to become.
Looking at the overall collection, there wasn’t a showstopper, nor a head-turning double take but a comforting array of pieces found in everyone’s wardrobes. It was British but cool. It wasn’t over-the-top but then again this country’s aesthetic isn’t.
Lee brought Burberry back – clothes that were once again made to walk upon Englands mountains green.
by Imogen Clark