All eyes are on Daniel Lee as he debuts his first collection for Burberry. Known by many as the whiz of rebranding, the newly-minted creative director breathes new life into the 166-year-old iconic brand, embracing the house codes whilst pushing creative boundaries that bode well.
The Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo transformation starts with a logo change as Lee resurrects the Equestrian Knight motif—a century-old hallmark for the house—incorporated with the word “Prorsum”, Latin for “forwards”. With sufficient tease from the pre-show campaign featuring prominent personalities shot against landmarks like Trafalgar Square, Lee rolled out some checked picnic blankets at Kennington for the highly anticipated Autumn/Winter 2023 show.
Never one who shies away from colours—not after Lee made vibrant emerald green one of the most talked-about colours for the past few years—Burberry beige skidded to a halt. Now, enter the jewel tones—Wimbledon purple and green, daffodils yellow, deep red magenta, and electric blue that eventually became the “Burberry blue”. The palette mirrors the “lovely weather for ducks!” England is infamously known for.
Lee backtracked the roots of the house as an outdoor brand, highlighting functionality as the models stormed out in boots that resembled the Wellingtons, wearing trenchcoats with faux fur lapels, and clutching onto hot water bottles covered in the emblematic Nova checks. On the head, the bear trapper hats are larger than life; on the hands, saddles and satchels are fur-trimmed; even kitten heels are wreathed in faux fur. It’s all about the fuzz.
A Dark Knight
Leave the polished minimal aside, Lee’s Burberry is layer upon layer. Piled with accessories, the collection voices the individualism that speaks to the younger crowd. The real deal—as expected from the it-bag maker—did not go unnoticed.
Swinging down the runway is the soft-structured Knight Bag, the first key bag by Lee. With a fold over frontal, the shoulder bag can be transform into a blow-up hobo that fits everything—lunch pail, flat shoes, anything. Not only is the arm candy available in grainy leather, shearling and suede, but also various colours and sizes.
While the furry tail on the shearling ones are as eye-catching as it can be, we can’t get our eyes off the hard ware on the Knight bag that adds edges to the soft-structured silhouette. Embellished with the Horse Dog Clip, the clasp echoes the horse motif on the Nu Equestrian Knight Design, “bridling” back to its house code. Bright-approved!
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There were ducks and English roses, which were pastoral but made punk. Among the trenches are the graphic tees with one that spells “Roses aren’t always red” and coloured tights printed with Nova Checks—our favourite goes to the red and blue checked tights paired with a duck-printed overcoat and a furry wrap-around, style and warmth, best of both worlds. Harkening back to the subculture that was crystallised in England back in the mid-70s, as well as a nod to the late Dame Vivienne Westwood, the punk attitude is brimming over the immaculate seams. No English archetypes and symbols were left unread and untouched—intrinsically British.