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Courtesy of Burberry.
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Courtesy of Burberry.
Courtesy of Burberry.
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Courtesy of Burberry.
Fashion

Burberry Asks What it Means to Be British

By Pearl Fontaine

March 14, 2022

Last week at London’s Central Hall Westminster, Burberry debuted its Fall/Winter 2022 collections for men and women in the house’s first live runway event in two years. Dramatic lights arose on the Great Hall, which had prior been engulfed in complete darkness, revealing that the theater had been transformed into a private dining room, set in front of a grand staircase. An intimate audience of guests gathered around tables outfitted with glistening crystal place settings, while the London Contemporary Orchestra and a 100-piece choir set the mood with propelling compositions by Max Richter and Michael Nyman.

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Courtesy of Burberry.

Models began descending the grand staircase, revealing the intention of the tables was not for dining, but to replace the runway itself. Ushers stationed at the edges of each table offered a hand as the models glided up and down the rising and falling surfaces—the epitome of elegance dressed in garb celebrating the maison’s British identity. Throughout the presentation, the heritage and codes of Burberry served as the foundation, while an homage to the many perspectives of what constitutes as “British”—an attitude of forward-thinking adventurers, the house posed—revealed influences of city, country, punk, and pageantry alike.

Across both collections was a palette of deep hues like autumnal brown tones, soft fawn and beige, and brighter accenting hues—red and soft blue for menswear and dandelion yellow, blue, and candy pink for women. The iconic Burberry plaid was accompanied this season by prints and imagery of regalia tied to the brand’s British inspiration, like the return of the Equestrian Knight motif and the oak leaf crest, which we saw on an assortment of shapes. There were also genderless accessories like a riding cap outfitted with a rounded halo-like detail and a trompe l’oeil pouch mimicking British packaging, sized perfectly to be tucked under the arm holding daily essentials.

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Courtesy of Burberry.

First down the runway came menswear, which subverted standards by rethinking form and purpose. Collars became hoods, high waistlines were greatly exaggerated, silhouettes were combined, and elements stereotypical to womenswear were transferred to the menswear oeuvre—like corsetry, skirts, and off-the-shoulder shrugs. Some standout looks included a hybrid of a plaid trench and fur stole, which stopped at the bottom of the shoulders to reveal the black suiting underneath, a classic black pairing of trousers and an embossed sweatshirt over a collared oxford paired with black sneakers, and a rugby jersey that laced up the front paired with ultra-high-waisted pants that fastened up the front with tiny corset hooks.

For women, a dress-centered collection took a similar approach, applying unlikely details to quintessential shapes. Pleats were a mainstay (like a tessellated pleat with a herringbone pattern creating tiny ruffles), skirts featured a layered detail reminiscent of an apron, coats were accented with bits of metal hardware, and activewear elements were seen on elevated silhouettes. A few of our favorites included a take on the quintessential Burberry trench imagined in pleats, a dress with a militant top and high collar lined in ruffled pleats featuring a kerchief overskirt with raw edges, a sizeable ballgown imagined in yellow shag, and a white gown and shirt with sporty fabrications and zipper details glittering in rhinestones and clusters of gems that formed tiny Equestrian Knights.

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Courtesy of Burberry.

Open Gallery

Courtesy of Burberry.

Open Gallery

Courtesy of Burberry.

Open Gallery

Courtesy of Burberry.
BurberryFall/Winter 2022

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