Burberry Pre-Fall 2022

In years to come, Burberry’s pre-collection look book will serve as a testimony to the neo-liberation era we live in. In it, a highly individual cast of models were seen holding plants under their arms as if they were infants, posing with unconfined polecats on their shoulders, and wearing the quintessence of Gen Z fashion. Deconstructed, gender-neutral, and dressed-in-reverse, these clothes were upside-down in every way: an anarchistic approach to conventional dressing loaded with the logos and brand worship of a nature-friendly post-millennial youth, who doesn’t want to be seen as “alternative” but instead transform the commercial establishment with their progressive values, and create a new enlightened norm. What a time capsule! Maybe someone should bury it in their garden.

The collection was the first chapter in Riccardo Tisci’s new pre-collection scheme. “I wanted to explore a different experience bringing my collections to life, so I have decided to open up my pre-collection to a new creative voice each season: someone special to me, who inspires me, and whose unique creativity surrounds me in my personal life,” he said in a statement. Enter Lea T, one of the first openly transgender models and a LGBTI+ advocate, who isn’t simply a long-time collaborator of Tisci’s but dedicated her stage name to him: T is for Tisci. In her own comments, the 40-year-old Brazilian model praised her friend for sharing his massive platform, saying today’s “Burberry is like a big window, a place where you can be free to build and a space to create wonderful things.”

Indeed, the collection felt like a free roam through the heritage of Burberry, hacking up its traditional tropes and filling in the cuts with a nature-centric spirit more hippie than hunter. Between the radical proposals—a trench coat reduced into an elongated bib, a midriff-baring mutant cardigan, a business suit topped with a parka topped with a cardigan—there were more broadly collectivizing pieces. A pristine beige car coat had an effortless gender-neutrality to it, a utilitarian kilt suit was a nice take on generational officewear, and Tisci’s new “British Isles” print was a witty, Brit-y take on the baroque motifs native to the designer’s homeland of Italy where the model was also raised.

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