Riccardo Tisci’s Burberry Fall 2021 ready to wear collection had a very personal inspiration: His mother, who has been influencing Tisci’s career throughout his life. “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,” he wrote, in a press release, adding that the presentation was “a love letter to women and a celebration of their incomparable strength.” said the designer in an emotionally charged pre-show statement on the company’s website.
In the same statement, he makes reference to late model and fashion icon Stella Tennant as an inspiration for Wednesday’s collection; Tennant has been starring in countless Burberry catwalk shows and advertising campaigns, as well as serving as a consultant for the brand. Credited for her very British punk-meets-ladylike personal style, the model epitomized how the house’s ideal woman feels and dresses, fashionably yet away from ephemeral trends. “I wanted this collection to feel truly emblematic of the power of feminine energy: a modern armor that captures its characteristic fierce aura … This presentation is a love letter to women and a celebration of their incomparable strength.”said the designer.
The show invitation had a rather ambiguous meaning. A pillow printed with the historic house’s HQ address which Tisci modeled it himself on the Burberry Instagram inviting everyone to take a moment and dream ahead of the how. In any case, there was dreaming involved. And a lot of intuition.
Titled “Feminity” this was a collection focused on womenswear marking a shift from Burberry’s long championed gender fluidity. It was also the sheer proof that intuition alone delivered a collection that can please everyone, ever luxury fashion’ over-saturated audience. There were pencil skirts and shirt dresses worn with heels as well as opulent outerwear, in the typical Burberry way. Also, deconstructed jackets, beautiful drapes, smart, tailored dresses, animal prints, bold red, and fuchsias. Oh, and some gold sequined armor-like capes worn with helmet-like hats that looked surprisingly more couture than we were used to expecting. Tisci described them as a “modern armour” collection for women –and they definitely looked the part. The collection was a step away from the hype that characterized his previous collections for the brand; Instead, there was a fresh node to women that want to dress smart and look powerful yet feminine.
Then, there were stars and geometric bias-cut panels that looked like flags.”There’s an underlying attitude to the collection that’s very British; of being unique, eccentric, and totally authentic in how you express yourself,” Tisci wrote. Channeling nationalism in post-Brexit turbulent times can be extremely problematic. Still,it somehow made sense as the core elements of Britishness are being constantly redefined by current reality fluxus.
Or perhaps ,it was all an illusion. After all, the designer took his bow in a t-shirt that read: “Don’t believe everything you think.” Or see.