, the space was a vision of luxe trench-beige softness, a maze of blocks of different heights that the models walked over. But the collection was anything but beige. Instead, it was brighter and more colourful than usual — a “rainbow shining through the rain” as the show notes put it — and there was a sense of optimism in the going-for-gold dresses and spindly stilettos. The message: soon we’ll be dressing with a purpose, on our way someplace somewhere other than a beer garden.
The collection was perhaps Riccardo’s most laser-focused yet, perhaps a result of its neat focus on womenswear (Burberry is now showing its menswear and womenswear separately) but also because it doubled down on a singular, recurring theme: fuzzy, fluffy shearlings and faux furs (Riccardo was inspired by the outdoor craft movements of the early 20th century) juxtaposed with sleek, sharp city-slicker dresses and coats. “I had time to slow down. The fashion business is very fast. It’s a huge company. I was ticking boxes, and I was like, ‘Okay, stop’,” he told
Vogue. Whereas his previous collections have often riffed on categories of Britishness — the lady, the vamp, the footballer, the gent — here was a cohesive vision of it, told through a concise collection of very glamorous clothes. In fact, Riccardo described it as “armour” — and what could be more British than its countrywomen putting in hair rollers for a supermarket shop, baring legs in the freezing cold and getting dressed up for a night out? “They are not afraid to challenge expectations and I have always been in such awe of their determination,” he said. “They are warriors.” headtopics.com
But where the collection felt especially prescient was in the razor-sharp dresses made from spliced Union Jack flags, the diagonal blue-red-and-white stripes of the British flag re-configured as colourful drapes and geometric bias-cut panels. Probably coincidentally, it comes at a time when the flag has become a symbol of changing attitudes and conversations about Britishness — on one hand, we’re seeing flags get
bigger and bigger in the backgrounds of politicians on daily briefings; on the other, we’re seeing them debated over during political protests and heralded as symbols of nationalism. Here, Riccardo — Italian-born and London-based — re-configured the Union Jack in myriad ways — and a cobalt dress with yellow stars nodded to an underlying context of post-Brexit British identity (the brand has been outspoken about the damaging impact of leaving the EU on its business). Riccardo took his bow in a t-shirt that read: “
Don’t believe everything you think.” Read more: i-D »
Decoding the Queen's colorful style
As Britain's longest-reigning monarch, the Queen is both a cherished and consistent part of public life -- her image synonymous with stability and tradition to the British people.