At Burberry, Daniel Lee Focuses on Life in the Trenches

A couple of days earlier than Daniel Lee’s sophomore outing for Burberry, one thing surprising occurred in the Bond Street subway station. The indicators turned blue — Burberry blue, the new very-bright blue that Mr. Lee has determined to make synonymous along with his model — and, as an alternative of studying “Bond Street,” learn “Burberry Street.”

The Tube takeover, in honor of the opening of Burberry’s redesigned Bond Street retailer, in all probability appeared like an excellent concept on paper. So enjoyable! So alliterative! So symbolic! (Bond Street = London landmark; Burberry = London landmark). The downside was the hordes of vacationers who, not but conscious of Burberry blue, got confused and couldn’t determine the place they have been.

Sitting in the Burberry present, held in Highbury Fields, North London, a completely completely different a part of the metropolis, I type of knew how they felt.

Mr. Lee had been tasked with nothing lower than a significant reboot of the Great British Brand, with emphasis on the British half. He began with that blue; a brand new emblem that introduced again the Prorsum knight, the mounted gallant whose banner, in English, reads “Forward”; and, in his first collection, enjoying round with the model’s signature plaid, inflating the sample to huge proportions and giving it a grunge-y spin. In his pre-collection earlier this summer time, he added a dose of sophistication, torquing it into waves at hemlines in an intriguing approach.

Then he modified route.

This time round. the trench was the star of the present: slick and buttoned-up, huge at the shoulder, certain at the hips. Also a print that includes the model’s {hardware} — chains and locks and carabiners — snaked itself over silk shirts and scarf clothes, the backs of leather-based coats, and trousers. (The {hardware}, in its bodily incarnation, was additionally throughout the luggage and footwear.) Some clothes had zippers alongside the seams that might be undone at will to open a sleeve, or increase an eyebrow at publicity to come back.

There have been some fairly one-shoulder disco-at-the-garden-party clothes with frilly tiers, some nice navy jackets produced from ruched chiffon. But the temper, and palette, was extra poker-faced, regardless of a troika of explosive florals and a blue strawberry print that seemed as if somebody had dosed the catering stands at Wimbledon.

The TikTok-fodder equipment from final season, like a knitted duck beanie (at the least one in all which was modeled by a visitor this time round) and the rabbit’s foot-on-steroids have been nowhere to be seen. It was as if, after catering to the Gen Z set, Mr. Lee had mentioned “All right then,” parked these concepts reasonably than constructing on them, and moved his consideration to the grown-ups. Whom, it appears, he views as an altogether extra cynical bunch, each with regards to the tropes of “Britishness” and the Burberry archive.

Mr. Lee closed his present with a shirtless male mannequin carrying solely a pair of low-slung pants in that Bond Street — sorry, Burberry — blue and a belt with an enormous Prorsum knight buckle. It was a hanging alternative. Clothes? Pshaw! Strip ‘em away, and it’s the branding that issues.

Maybe he’s proper. Maybe that’s the place we at the moment are, in our relationships with the nation states in which we reside and the labels that gown them. But there’s a depth of emotion that’s lacking.

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