With the final date of Brexit just around the corner, the Burberry Fall Winter 2019 collection gave us all a much-needed reminder of what makes Britain so wonderfully British. The concept of what is ‘quintessentially British’ is one that is very difficult to define or understand for any foreigner. And, if we are honest, it is sometimes difficult to define it ourselves.
Britain is the stiff-upper-lip, the afternoon tea, the politeness of its people and grace of the elegant country house. It is after all the home of the class system. A nation where we can pretend it doesn’t mean anything but a title still holds its weight in gold. Where we ourselves still place people in classes. “Oh no, I’m not a toff (upper-class for our international readers), I come from a very middle-class home you know” has been uttered in defence at many dinner parties.
But Britain itself is a dichotomy. The country of “Good morning your Lordship” and gentlemen’s clubs is also the birthplace of rock and roll, the swinging sixties, liberation, and equal rights. A country that created the establishment and the anti-establishment. As such we have always been, in a sense, a divided nation but never more so than now. With Brexit looming, we are divided on politics, views and even how and where we see ourselves as a nation.
It took a foreigner to remind us just what it means to be British and be proud of it once again! For his second show as creative director, Riccardo Tisci put forward the Burberry Fall Winter 2019 collection and it was a British dream. Everything possibly patriotic and more! The designer explained:
“I have been thinking a lot about England as a country of contrasts, from the structured to the rebellious and free, and I wanted to celebrate how these elements coexist. My first season for Burberry was about starting to develop my alphabet for the house, it was about identifying new letters and new codes. And now, I’m starting to put these letters together to begin writing my book here, to form the first chapter for a new era at Burberry.”
The collection itself can really be divided into parts or sub-collections. The first, being casual. These pieces saw puffed bomber jackets, the usage of PVC, leather, sweatpants and fur-lined parkas. With the second part speaking more to the traditional. Structured lines, elegant suiting and tailoring, the usage of luxurious fabrics and classic coats.
Influences from the landed gentry, urban dwellers, the toffs and the working -class, the Scottish highland farmer to the raver has all been encapsulated in this expansive collection. Its inclusion stretches further than geographical identity and sub-cultures, it even speaks to various economic-groups with affordable luxury pieces and ultra-lux being styled together. It allows for all lovers of the brand to access a piece of it no matter style, taste or budget. It makes you want to pop on your wellies and join in Rule Britannia!