Riccardo Tisci’s second collection for Burberry left me with the same impression I had after his debut. Too much of content. Again, we’ve got an exhausting line-up of more than 100 looks and some sort of separated themes that relate to British culture. Guests sat in two spaces: one very formal with a 90s rave soundtrack, the other an urban jungle set to the sounds of classical piano. The collection was a matching game of contrasts between street and elegance. While Tisci wants to get as democratic and inclusive with his fashion as possible, it seems like the huge scope of Britishness is just too much for one collection. The second part of the collection, the formal one, was the strongest: we’ve had sharp tailoring, gorgeous, distinctly Burberry trench coats, refined eveningwear. The oyster print was properly posh, while the colour palette – Burb beige and pistachio – looked insanely good. Stella Tennant in a camel total look and a matching beanie was just it. The first part of the collection, the one that’s targeted for younger audience, was like a deja vu from Riccardo’s later Givenchy years, when he went full throttle with printed T-shirts and sweatshirts. Yes, those were bestsellers, but… we’re in 2019. That mould of tartan plaid, Burberry checks, puffers and logos wasn’t neither clubbing fashion, punk or anything close to that. Rather, millennials-minded mumble jumble of references.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
London fashion week didn’t see a big debut for a while. But was it worth the wait? Riccardo Tisci at Burberry seemed to be an unlikely choice from the beginning. The brand’s logo and identity changes felt vague and predictable. A post-show, 24 hours only merch shopping via Instagram had to have everyone like ‘wow’, but I guess no one really bothered to buy anything. You might think that 134 looks in a collection have to speak loud and clear about the designer’s vision. That’s what I thought before. Well, maybe that number of looks tried to say a word or two, but in overall it felt like Tisci wanted to seize too much and mention too many things at a time in his first collection for this historic, British brand. The first part of the collection referred to Burberry’s heritage – trench coats, Burbs checks and silk foulards – and played with the notion of conservative, British middle class from the Thatcher era. If Riccardo developed that a bit further and kept the show in these 50 outfits, that might have been a good shot . But then, a dozen of identical menswear looks appeared, aesthetically closer to Prada and 90s Helmut Lang than Burberry. Another ton of womenswear (this time related to the punk movement, unfortunately looking shallow, preppy and… tired) and a portion of men’s unamusing streetwear (think sweatshirts and prints that are very close to Riccardo’s work at Givenchy – this time, however, we’ve got creepy, Victorian families photo instead of Catholic iconography) appeared on the runway. In the end, we had this quite stiff line-up of ladies’ eveningwear. I liked Christopher Bailey’s last seasons at Burberry, but I never really looked at his collections again. Tisci’s debut could have been more focused and gripping, that’s sure, but let’s give him time. And please, narrow down that scope!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.