Burberry Explores Its Feminine Side
The invite for today’s A/W’21 show was delivered alongside a Burberry-branded director’s chair, which not only hinted toward an al fresco energy of the collection, but served as a totem of the warmer, less miserable times to come. That invite also featured an emblem with the word “Wilderness” at the center and “Kinship, Fluidity, Infinite Love, Go Outdoors, Eternal”, surrounding it. From which, we may have deduced that Burberry was about to follow in the footsteps of Gucci (that partnered with North Face) and Loewe (that offers Eye/Loewe/Nature, its upcycled collection of luxury gorpcore) in unveiling a collection of Yosemite-coloured adventure-wear. But that wasn’t the case at all.
True, the second look featured a backpack topped with an umbrella wrapped in a blanket (above), but the outdoorsy vibe seemed to end there. Moreover, a vibe of schooldays and boyish-ness prevailed. There were duffel coats, letterman jackets, shorts worn with black lace-ups and socks, sleeves worn through at the elbows, and shirting in collegiate chevron prints – the kind of thing rowers might have worn 70 years ago. It felt a little Wes Anderson, a little Moonrise Kingdom – a move toward a more delicate tact that the last few seasons of menswear at Burberry, which were brighter, brasher, more logo-heavy. (This was Tisci's first "menswear-focused" collection after all, it makes sense that it would break new ground.)
Since arriving at Burberry from Givenchy in 2018, chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci has set about repainting the menswear through his own prism. It is tougher, more sportswear-led, and perhaps modeled on a more athletic frame, but still utilizes the Burberric traditions to full effect. (Trench coats still feature heavily, for example, though reimagined in myriad forms.) However, this collection feels softer, more feminine. Perhaps it’s the fringing used throughout, or the outerwear belted with silk scarves, or the boots, which are super low-profile on the foot and skin-tight on the calves. Perhaps it was the little black dress in look four. Glibness aside, I thought there was more sleekness in this collection than any of Tisci's former shows for Burberry.
"This collection is an homage to the relationship between humanity and nature," says Tisci in the show notes, "where we can break free and come together to discover new forms of expression. It’s for those who are defining their own path, whose strength and energy have inspired this Burberry collection."
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.