Burberry's ode to the countryside kicked off virtual LFW in style

When the pandemic started, throwing into question the future of fashion month, Riccardo Tisci was one of the first designers to announce a step down from the usual schedule with his Burberry show.

At the time, he teased a virtual presentation that would look to mother nature for inspiration, saying, 'Especially recently, we have all yearned to reconnect again and for this show, I wanted to celebrate these feelings by bringing our community together in a creative experience that takes place within the beautiful, natural landscape of Britain.'

Now all has been revealed, with the Burberry presentation kicking off a new hybrid LFW in style. Fashion collided with art in an ethereal catwalk set in the forest, with models walking between trees and ending up in a clearing where an installation was set up in collaboration with artist Anne Imhof. The live soundtrack was provided by musician Eliza Douglas, 'further exploring the blurred boundaries between art, fashion and live events' according to the show notes.

The womenswear and menswear Burberry Spring/Summer 2021 itself was inspired by the British summertime and everything you associate with it, from the seaside to windy walks in the countryside. A theme which tied perfectly into the fashion house's DNA (founder Thomas Burberry invented the first technical fabric – gabardine – designed to repel water and to protect the body).

And so the iconic trench is reinterpreted in fresh hues - oceanic blue, sandy beige, earthy orange, and moss green - and with modern details such as criss-cross patterns and cut-outs. Elsewhere, the theme carried on in the form of fishnets studded with crystals, ethereal dresses and tailoring made of tulle and chiffon, as well as more functional garments you would imagine yourself wearing by the seaside, such as loungewear and denim pieces.

Even Burberry’s new signature accessory the Pocket Bag, got a nautical makeover, with its porthole handle also featuring across accessories and clothing.

It began with a thought of British summertime; embracing the elements with a trench coat on the beach mixing with the sand and the water. I envisioned the people of this space, like the lighthouse keeper, and a love affair between a mermaid and a shark, set against the ocean, then brought to land.

The circle is hugely symbolic – regrowth, renewal, the circle of life. The collection is called In Bloom because I was thinking about regeneration, about dynamic youth, about nature constantly recreating itself, always growing and evolving, always alive. Water is a symbol of that also – of newness, freshness and cleansing. And through water, life grows – water is what allows nature to bloom. Everything is circular.

'The collection is focused and refined – one vision, one story. This is the essence of both Burberry’s identity and my own creativity. Reaffirming the codes of Burberry – my codes of Burberry, our DNA’, Riccardo Tisci, Burberry chief creative officer said.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.