The scene earlier than the largest present of London style week was quintessentially British: an orderly queue for tea, espresso and eccles cake. Britishness, together with trenchcoats and checked scarves, is what Burberry stands for. That is certainly the one catwalk present the place Hollywood motion hero Jason Statham, acclaimed choreographer Wayne MacGregor and Arsenal striker Bukayo Saka could be discovered rubbing shoulders within the entrance row.
The primary look on to the catwalk was a trenchcoat. The ditch is a Burberry staple – however this had a notably slimmer reduce, a chic dropped-waist silhouette, and was black fairly than beige. There have been extra trenchcoats to comply with: some sleeveless, some leather-based, all of them smooth and minimal.
The Burberry trenchcoat appeared extra fascinating and fashionable on this catwalk, held in a marquee on London’s Highbury Fields, than it had for years. This appears an excellent signal that 37-year-old chief inventive officer, Daniel Lee, who grew up in Yorkshire not removed from the model’s coat manufacturing facility, is the precise man for the Burberry job.
Sadly for Lee, whereas a killer trenchcoat sends a powerful message on the catwalk, what issues on the shopfloor are baggage and footwear. Burberry has set an formidable marketing strategy to spice up gross sales from £2.8bn to £4bn within the subsequent 5 years, which suggests rising its slice of the all-important equipment market.
Lee, who scored a cult style hit with cushion-soft purses whereas designing the Bottega Veneta label in Milan, reprised the theme for Burberry with squishy, huggable baggage that slotted beneath the arm. The deal with leather-based items will please Burberry’s accountants, but it surely didn’t please the Peta protester who managed a quick look on the runway holding a banner that learn: “Animals will not be clothes.”
As any politician will inform you, figuring out a warm-and-fuzzy imaginative and prescient of Britain that gathers all-comers across the campfire is a thankless job proper now. Whereas Frenchness could be conjured up with a striped T-shirt and a well-cut blazer, Britishness is a stubbornly political idea. The totems of British style – from punk’s security pins to Savile Row fits, from wellies to soccer shirts – are watermarked with associations of sophistication and historical past, and the pitfalls for designers who attempt to characterize Britishness are limitless.
The critics who as soon as sneered at Christopher Bailey’s nostalgic, romantic Burberry for being a Sunday-night-drama model of Britishness have been this season equally cross with Lee, accusing him of appropriating working-class tradition by staging a Burberry pop-up at Normans, a standard London caff.
However Lee has a brand new technique to speak about Britain with out making any of them cross, by touchdown on each Briton’s favorite subject: the climate. Lee instructed the Enterprise of Trend web site earlier than this present: “The model’s legacy is finally the outside … that’s the factor we bear in mind once we work on the whole lot.” Therefore the deal with trenchcoats, that are as a lot about climate as they’re about style.
Coats are Burberry’s bread and butter, however this assortment will go on sale subsequent summer time, so there have been strawberry prints too – a logo of British summertime, given a catwalk twist within the electrical blue that Lee has picked as Burberry’s home color. And there was one other good signal for Burberry, when the present ended, that the model is heading in the right direction: the Burberry quilted blankets laid out on every seat have been seized upon by the A-list crowd as ad-hoc celebration favours, with not a single blanket remaining as soon as the venue was empty.