By Sofia Weddle
Burberry has always represented the golden days of fashion: duchesses strolling the damp cobblestone streets on their way to Harrod’s for a fitting with a six-figure stylist. It’s hard to imagine a time when this was the norm compared to the current overpopulation of quantity-over-quality-hungry consumers. Throughout the new millenium, Burberry has remained steadfast in its image of luxury and proper British dress.
That all changed when Riccardo Tisci, a renowned designer and a notorious game-changer for sinking brands, became the head designer for Burberry. He turned Givenchy into a prime upscale streetwear brand, catching the eyes of fashion icons from Kanye West to Beyoncé. Burberry received the same treatment on September 17th during London Fashion Week 2018, and already stocks are looking up for a brighter plaid-filled future. Michael Lewis, a Glenelg Senior, believes that Tisci’s new collection “breaks typical norms with new stripes and patterns, while showcasing diversity [in its models]”. Burberry’s past life of luxury product bonfires, a deteriorating clientele, and a classic plaid print seemingly disappeared with the click of some mary-jane inspired pumps.
The Spring 2019 Ready-To-Wear show opened with a smattering of camel-colored trench coats, slicked backed hair, and flowy patterned blouses. Tisci took control of this year’s fashion fads, making leather purses hanging from gold-blocked belts the upscale fanny pack. Possibly taking influence from Hermes, Tisci utilized silk scarves that were tied into the waistbands of high-waisted pants or stitched into creped skirts. The first third of the show centralized on the basics of Burberry: plaid, camel beige, and calf-length trenches made of nylon, leather, silk, and tweed.
As the women left the runway, chiseled men slid onto the platform wearing 1920s gangster-influenced suits. The models unveiled pin-striped pants, chain cross-body umbrellas, tan and charcoal cardigans, and chic duffels. Once the women returned, the old Burberry was officially dead. From Chanel and Hermes inspired looks to those reminiscent of bold, textured Versace, Tisci designed everything from studded jackets, polka-dot sheer capes, gingham sleeves, socks with pointy toed heels, to labeled graphic tees. Every look, every garment had its own unique material, texture, and fit, but they all worked together seamlessly. Tisci took his audience on a ride through the ages, from the Victorian Age into the future of professional street style. According to Olivia Kavadias, a Glenelg Senior, “Today media decides if fashion is in or out. It’s all about the media coverage, and the media wants to appeal to the audiences that make them money-- the younger kids and teenagers.” Gone are the days of grunge covered bodies and white tee shirts retailing for $500 each, and in came the new era of striking reds, animal prints, hanging tassels, and business couture.
The last arch of Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2019 Collection was the reintroduction of the males, who became more rugged with a change of style. The room was filled with coral and animal print shorts, translucent colors, square graphics plastered on zip-ups, and throwback mechanic shirts. Burberry ended its show with an understated bang of simple floor-length black gowns made ornate with loose straps accentuating the model’s shoulders, silver and gold accents, and sparkly heels.
If Tischi’s first ready-to-wear collection is any signal of Burberry’s future success, the brand is set to become a widespread epidemic throughout the fashion community. Burberry may even replace Gucci as the prime streetwear brand across the world, from Calabasas to Roma. However, only time will tell which luxury names will survive the cutthroat world of consumerism and which will fall into anonymity.
Check out Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2019 Collection here: https://us.burberry.com/runway-looks/