In Highbury Fields

Burberry SS24: trenchcoats, flowers and slices of eccles cake
By Alex James Taylor | Fashion | 19 September 2023

Burberry guests received a bouquet of blue roses as their invitation to Daniel Lee’s SS24 runway show, held inside a giant marquee on North London’s Highbury Fields. Outside, cups of tea and slices of Eccles cakes and Guinness bread were being served by cult cafe Norman’s – no, this wasn’t the new season of The Great British Bake-Off (although a photo of Mary Berry in Norman’s surrounded by Burberry check did appear on the brand’s Instagram the day before – so who knows). On the front row, Britain’s finest were represented, including Damon Albarn, Bukaya Saka, Kano, Mo Farah, Sue Webster, Barry Keoghan and Naomi Ackie.

Inside, a conceptual soundscape crafted by acclaimed London musician Dean Blunt filled the venue as models showcased Lee’s latest collection. “An exploration of lightness, sensuality, beauty and elegance,” read the show notes, “a sense of outdoor living, reimagining the trench for summer.” Running with this theme of British summertime – where you’re equally right to pack a bikini as a rain Mac – trenchcoats appeared in deconstructed new forms; slashed at the arms, rendered in supple black leather, cropped into jackets, cut with asymmetric lapels and fastened with low-slung belts.

A reworking of utilitarian sensibilities proved to be the lynchpin of the collection (the original Burberry Gabardine trench was designed in 1912 as a raincoat for British army officers). How can you take workwear tropes and make them cool, elevated, sexy? It’s a trend happening on the London streets, and backstage, where Daniel Lee wore Burberry check trousers paired with a black Carhartt tee – case in point. On the runway, that dialogue was realised via a blend of louche cuts and deconstructed silhouettes. Men’s shirting was voluminous, paired with pleated shorts and sequinned slippers, while suit trousers were crafted with drawstring waists. There were check knits, epaulettes and fringed polo neck dresses. Zips ran across hips and blue strawberry decoration became an instant classic. Throughout, metal chain graphics adorned looks, as did British garden prints of poppies, roses and forget-me-nots. The final look was a sartorial exclamation mark: Kit Butler, topless, wearing blue trousers held up by a super-thick belt and metal equestrian knight buckle.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Burberry WOMENS-SPRING-SUMMER-24