Monday 17th September

| BY Claudia Croft

Burberry: Ready-to-Wear SS19

And so to Vauxhall, where the assembled fashion massive, stepped out of a bright afternoon into the dark Burberry catwalk maze lined with blonde velvet banquettes. Guests fumbled for their seats, (thank God for the iPhone torch setting), as the squelchy techno sounds of a custom Massive Attack soundtrack reverberating around the huge space. Dark, disorientating the setting worked like a metaphor for our confusing fashion times. But what if there was an alternative full of light and clarity and direction? Suddenly a vast shade which covered the ceiling of the venue was pulled back. The warm afternoon sun streamed in and Riccardo Tisci’s vision began to unfold with beautiful clarity. It started with a pared down taupe cotton coat – a wide dark brown waistband was only decoration. There followed a tight passage of ladylike pieces that referenced, in tone, early 1980s archive shot that Tisci posted on his Instagram – beige blazer worn with a ladylike chiffon skirt and matching blouse; a trench inlaid with fluttering scarf-print silk at its seams. These seductive riffs on Burberry’s heritage mac segued into a into a tougher look – a black leather mini white socks and heels or a shiny red patent Mac gave a rebel twist. Then it switched again, to a passage of sophisticated black cocktail dresses. The Burberry elegant gent wore paired back pinstriped and minimal suiting, cinched with a cycle lock worn around the waist as a belt. It then shifted to a younger street-orientated look influenced by workwear. Clear sectioning worked brilliantly allowing the designer to tell his unfolding story in neat chapters and give a new approach to runway: one section per customer – be they a sophisticated lady, punky street kid or City boy commuter. There were pieces for the airport shopper, silk scarves for the Tory wives, Mary Jane brothel creepers for the rebel schoolgirls, and sleek cocktail wear for the socialites. With nearly 130 models, Tisci presented a beautifully organised, catalogued, colour coded world of Burberry. Like a stamp of intent and utterly authoritative. Tisci’s confident, crafted, clever, inclusive, global Burberry is marvellous to behold.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.