Riccardo Tischi's Burberry debut

Riccardo Tisci Makes his Burberry Debut at London Fashion Week

Well you can take a breather, now that the first of two major Fashion Month debuts have come and gone. Riccardo Tisci’s first collection for Burberry was eerily perfect and eminently shoppable.

In the hours before showtime, the highly influential designer best known for his days at Givenchy, exhibited a charming degree of vulnerability on Instagram. Tisci thanked his Burberry supporters, and gushed about how the show would take place at 17:00 on the 17th of September, which as his @riccardotisci17 handle indicates, is also his lucky number.

As a firm believer in numerology and fate, how could one not be smitten? And if the numbers weren’t enough, Tisci was backed by his many beautiful friends. For the record, not every fashion week or city has the big models. One season they’re there, but maybe not the next. Tisci clearly called in favours, inviting Kendall Jenner, Natalia Vodianova, Stella Tennant, Irina Shayk, and Lily Donaldson to walk his runway.

The show itself felt like gliding through different stages of life for a Burberry aesthete, done the Tisci way, of course. The punkish rainbows of Christopher Bailey’s last collection are gone, replaced with trench coat dresses, obi-cinched coats and Burberry plaid pussy bow blouses. It’s the kind of work that will resonate with those who admire Dior and Louis Vuitton. But remember, Burberry presents big. This show alone had at last count 134 looks so the mood shifted to a younger, shorter hemline, pleather-sporting lady, to guys who like their things boxy, loose but expensive, before veering into red carpet terrain.

In terms of accessories, fanny packs featured Tisci’s new “TB” logo, as well as these passport-looking pouches that spoke to our fascination with irony in fashion today. You’d be hard pressed to find a killer heel here with the most notable shoe being a chunky Mary Jane that resembled a Doc Marten.

One of the big surprises of this season is how normal it’s become to not see fur. Burberry has been in the news a lot lately, announcing it would not use fur any longer, nor burn unsold stock, all wonderfully timed before the spring collection at London Fashion Week. Minutes after things wrapped up, Burberry proudly posted a “vinyl pencil skirt.” And despite the hype surrounding that baseball-esque TB, except for Tisci’s brief bow at the end, the new Thomas Burberry monogram was not as front and centre as you might think. Though one suspects this logo, which feels more American than English, will be big next year, emblazoned as it was across socks on the runway, or Rihanna’s chest on the brand’s official Insta feed.

 

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If you expected a hurricane-style shakeup, these winds of change felt more like a warm breeze enjoyed while having a cigarette outside a favourite supper club. Bring on Hedi Slimane at Celine, I think we’re ready.

 

See the looks from Burberry Spring 2019