Burberry Autumn/Winter 2021: Warrior-woman feminism with flags
Not flag-waving, but flag-draping was at the heart of this Autumn/Winter 2021 collection, presented in a show video set inside an entirely beige lobby set. Beige rippling curtains; slanted catwalk; carpeted stairways and above all huge stacks of Riccardo’s beloved plywood platforms – in the same hue as the beige in the house’s signature plaid.
“Throughout my life, my mother has been this incredible force of nature. As a single parent, she raised me and my eight sisters with unfaltering purpose and pride. So, naturally, I have always been drawn to strong women and, in turn, they have also given me the confidence to express my own femininity. They are not afraid to challenge expectations and I have always been in such awe of their determination. They are warriors,” explained Tisci.
Though the heart of the matter were a series of dramatic layered dresses and cocktails; which intermixed cape-sleeve dresses, color blocking and animal prints. Several looks suggesting elements of a deconstructed Union Jack – taking this emblem of Britain somewhere very new. While other looks featured intarsias in silk satin or tulle skirts.
The Italian designer also looked to the animal kingdom, but with exclusively faux furs. Thankfully, the house’s shows are no longer the scene of angry protests by hundreds of PETA supporters. Riccardo’s creatures were led by a series of lady Yetis, in brown, then in white and then burgundy fake fur.
“You are a true creation, eternal, a flame turning in the darkest places, a light in the eye of all who gave you. Divine,” intoned a warrior goddess in semi-darkness as the video begins.
Before the cast swirled around the set, starting with the first of many looks in Burberry’s signature garment, the double-breasted belted trench-coat – seen deconstructed with collars cut out and flopping down; finished with hoods or frontal breast plates. Frayed-hem versions were worn with matching thigh boots. Made in beige wool, black rawhide or, best of all, golden metallic sequins. The same material seen in shirts, blouses and a sensational wrap dress.
For evening, Tisci showed cut-out shoulders, asymmetrical-hem cocktails; and dressed his cast in Peruvian-style ribbed knit bonnets. For wintery nights he suggested metal gray cashmere military-maid duffle coats.
The whole collection had great poise and class and a certain modern novelty. Tisci, who took a bow with a wave wearing a black T-shirt, is capable of creating great product. Yet somehow, this whole collection felt less than the sum of its parts.
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