Carbon neutral

Burberry SS20
Fashion | 17 September 2019

Climate crisis protestors have spent months calling for an end to London Fashion Week. This obviously hasn’t happened, but it does seem that designers are making more effort to work sustainably and declare their intentions to protect the planet. Burberry was exemplary; a social media post prior to the SS20 show declared that the brand had paid to offset its guests’ carbon footprints, and also to donate much-needed money to conserve the recently-ravaged Amazon Jungle.

Fittingly, the show was firmly focussed on the future. A huge Victorian-inspired sound system installation stood at the centre of the room with speakers facing in all directions lodged between scaffolding. An all-star cast of models – including Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Agyness Deyn, who returned from a lengthy hiatus – walked in looks which took key Victoriana codes – think twin-sets, skirt suits and lashings of black lace – and gave them a modern twist with contrast piping and sleek, slim-fit silhouettes.

The early colour palette stayed true to the hue of the signature Burberry trench, but splashes of colour soon came in the form of silk scarves and shirts, painted with various nature motifs. The classic coat came embellished and worn over layers of slouchy yet smart basics, like oversized pinstriped shirts whose cuffs unravelled and crept out underneath.

A series of formal, buttoned-up suits soon gave way to more utilitarian, futuristic pieces, whose clip straps and technical fabrics often came printed with Burberry insignia. Glimmering chainmail soon cropped up on long tank dresses and even unique headpieces, which looked like baseball caps draped with steel to cover models’ faces. The menswear looks were also strong, offering up everything from oversized, partly-deconstructed hoodies to loose-fitting, printed suits teamed with matching overcoats. With more than a hundred looks being shown on the runway, Burberry – as always – had something for everyone.

GALLERYCatwalk looks from this show