Tisci’s world: SS19 vs FW19

L'Officiel Arabia looks back at Riccardo Tisci’s first two seasons with Burberry.
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The arrival of Burberry SS19

Tisci’s energy was no doubt what Burberry needed for SS19. His debut collection managed to walk the line between the feted history of the brand while bringing in the narrative of his own creative lineage (references to his past were across the runway from his preference for nude shades to the “why did they kill Bambi” piece which referenced his work at Givenchy). The show, called Kingdom, included 134 looks across three categories Refined, Relaxed, and Evening and took place in a former post office. While the show started off with the traditional Burberry aesthetic with Tisci’s take on the iconic trench coat, it wasn’t long before elements of counterculture were on the catwalk. The collection showcased elements of streetwear to punk and pieces for the city slickers. While counter culture was the soundtrack for Kingdom too, with Massive Attack blasting from the speakers ( it was Tisci’s favourite British band while studying at Central St Martins in London in the late nineties). Perhaps what Tisci’s collection most vitally managed to touch upon with Kingdom, is that Britain is more than just the polarity of the Queen and Kate Moss, it is a country with a rich and diverse culture which Tisci’s debut show perfectly took into account. “That’s what fashion should be,” Tisci said at the time. “Every age, every culture and every lifestyle.”

AW19 collection to present

For Tisci’s second collection, he decided to show at the Tate Modern - an art gallery known for its industrial aesthetic - in the British capital. Out was the warming traditional Burberry aesthetic which kicked off the SS19 show and instead dancers in sportswear took to the stage. Knowingly, the AW19 show was named Tempest, which Tisci said was inspired by the “contrasts in British culture and weather.” His collection played with nineties nostalgia (smart both personally - he spent his youth in the British capital during the decade, and professionally - nineties trends are currently big money for Millennial and Gen Z consumers) . will own the next few years on the catwalk). One of the most interesting aspects of Tisci’s AW19 show was the split set, which one half (for ‘gold’ ticket holders) had cream cushioned seats and a panelled auditorium while the other half (‘silver’ ticket holders) were seated in a live installation of street-styled youths, which some savvy commentators took to be a reflection of the schism caused by Brexit Britain, although Tisci himself was keen to remain more apolitical when questioned backstage. The designer said diplomatically that “everyone had a different opinion” on Brexit and when asked whether the split set was emblematic of a divided country, he replied: “why should it matter. The models walk through both.” Indeed perhaps there is perhaps no better metaphor for a country that is both at one, and divided.

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