Sunday, October 1, 2023
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Burberry Resort 2024 Collection

Prorsum Knight gallops at Burberry under the reins of Daniel Lee. You can’t miss the British knight, whose silhouette is almost stenciled, boldly and freshly repainted in that already recognizable new blue.

Everything about this choice says everything about the nature of Lee’s decisive talent at planting what he calls “signifiers.” He brings these elements to life in a variety of engaging, subconscious and witty ways throughout the brand. “You know, for me, creativity can mean so many things. Obviously, it can be a crazy silhouette, but it can also be tiny details,” he said in a speech at Burberry headquarters. “The great thing about joining a brand that’s been around since 1980 is that you can use so many codes. Like Prosham Knight. There’s a 1980 on file Very beautiful iteration. That’s what really jumped out,” he says with a laugh. “And it’s royal blue.”

The launch of his second collection offers a rare opportunity to hear more from the horses about what’s going on. Lee’s youthful grasp of British style stemmed from a long stint working with European luxury brands: Bottega Veneta, Celine and Phoebe Philo, and previously at Balenciaga with Nicolas Ghesquière. He was a graduate of Central Saint Martins and some of his friends at the time were in the studio. The propositions he’s brought to Burberry with breakneck speed are merging from head to toe into something both fun and thoughtful.

First things first: his twist on the Prince of Wales check turned into something complex but a little weird: traditional top, but twisted down to the wave of the digital age. Below is a bodysuit in the same pattern. A collection of footwear ignited the fervor of Lee’s followers at Bottega. Ruffled lamé sandals. Blanket fringed point-toe pumps peeked out from under trousers. Plaid-print wellies and platform loafers have punk-inspired barbed wire hardware in place of the horsebit.

Lee talks about creating an “outdoor and outerwear” feel for the collection. Of course, that’s what Burberry is all about—windswept moors, raincoats, quilted jackets, and more. Playing around with Burberry check is a natural thing to do. Landscape and culture are first nature for the Yorkshire-born designer, which means he doesn’t need to pull on references with draconian means. One of his English country walking tropes became a cheery yellow dandelion check pattern, printed on a skirt in a pattern that mimicked a traditional diamond pattern.

Behind it all, however, Lee is building Burberry as an accessory magnet. Back to his “signifiers”: he translates the medieval armor of the prosum knights into various minimal details on the hardware and jewellery. The buckle on the strap is “a combination of a carabiner and a horse’s head”. Among them were earrings in the shape of spears and helmets, and a leather handbag in the shape of a shield. Some bags have small metal bells on them. Lee said it was a nod to the fact that Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament were not far away. Come September, Burberry’s shows are sure to receive even more international attention. So far, though, the series has served as a clear signpost for where he’s headed.



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