Burberry’s spring/summer 2023 collection finally got its moment yesterday in London, after the catwalk show was postponed during London Fashion Week as a mark of respect to Queen Elizabeth II and its connections to the royal family.
While the original idea was to take over the iconic Trafalgar Square, Burberry instead moved inside and enlisted supermodels Naomi Campbell, Erin O’Connor, Karen Elson, Bella Hadid and Irina Shayk to showcase its sensual beach-inspired collection. It wasn’t just the catwalk that was star-studded, celebrities including Kanye West, Gillian Anderson, Simone Ashley, Stormzy and Erykah Badu watched from the front row.
The collection itself, which some say may be Riccardo Tisci’s last offering for the brand, offered a new sensuality exploring a “consciousness of body” with sheer slip dresses, lingerie-inspired tops and cut-out swimsuits, which occasionally also doubled up as eveningwear.
Tisci said that SS23 was inspired by the British beach life, as well as the “tension between dressing and undressing, between revelation and protection, underwear and outerwear,” as part of his continuing quest to offer a new modern DNA for Burberry.
“In summer, in Britain, the beach is a place of democracy, of community. It is where people from all cultures can join together in simple pleasures,” explains Tisci in the show notes. “I wanted to translate that ideology, that emotion, to an entire collection. I wanted to express that spirit of togetherness and joy, that reality.”
Burberry ready-to-wear SS23
This wasn’t a collection taking inspiration from the beauty of the British seaside, such as the cliffs, sand or shells, but rather the convergence of different people on the beach itself, with Tisci adding that he sees the beach as a “place of community, of liberation”.
That sense of freedom and people embracing their bodies was seen throughout, with outerwear and pieces inspired by underwear, swimwear and lingerie, all layered in homage to Britain’s unpredictable weather.
Statement looks included swimsuits fused into full-length dresses, with bodysuits integrated and emphasised through cut-outs around the midriff, crotch and hips, while other dresses had shimmering swimsuits layered over them, and some looks had cut-out detailing to reveal tiny bikini tops. Swimwear in Burberry’s famous house plaid was also styled over monogrammed jumpsuits.
Tisci showcased his fascination with lingerie, worn along or integrated into outerwear and tailored pieces, while seductive and sensual lace-edged baby doll dresses and evening slips were seen in multiple patterns, colours and scales, layered over fish-net and tulle dresses and jumpsuits.
There was also a focus on streetwear for SS23 for the men, with tailored suits seen alongside relaxed wide-leg trousers, sweatshirts and T-shirts and rugged check jackets, which were softened with lace and tulle layering. This was seen alongside sun-bleached denim tailored into high-waisted skirts and jackets for women.
Tisci also added playful touches to the collection, with quilted and sequinned inflatable bags on the arms to mirror flotation devices, offering a contrast to the slinky silhouettes. He also added padded armbands and oversized bows to a series of elegant velvet evening gowns. To round off the British seaside vibe, there were refined ‘kiss me quick’ style hats in lace, leather and sheer sustainable PVC, crystalised swimming goggles as jewellery, and shark earrings.