Salvation in nature

Burberry FW21
By Finn Blythe | Fashion | 22 February 2021

For his first menswear-focussed Burberry collection, chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci is dreaming of emancipation through nature.

The current pretext for such fantasies is nothing new and Tisci’s collection paid homage to parallel moments in history where people have turned their backs on the city in search of something more. It’s no surprise that those early 20th-century social movements Tisci makes reference to here arose in response to tuberculosis, the public health crisis of its day born from the horrors of industrialisation. Out of that particular gloom came glimmers of hope: the creation of Garden Cities, the Arts and Craft movements, the Club Scouts Association and a wider transition towards nature, community and craft.

For FW21 Tisci is hoping for history to repeat itself, for us to make good of a bad situation and reclaim ownership over life’s simplest pleasures. Given that this collection celebrates the revitalising power of nature, it seems fitting that outerwear should feature so prominently, albeit with contemporary modifications (tasselled hems and sleeveless arms) that allow total freedom of movement for crashing through the undergrowth. In keeping with this idea of the need to immerse ourselves in nature, boots and sneakers come with specially moulded soles that resemble animal hooves, referencing Burberry’s signature animal motifs alongside beanies knitted with deer antlers. Meanwhile, Varsity badges and other printed adornments evoke scouts uniforms and, by extension, membership to a wider community that Tisci believes will be our salvation.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Burberry FW21