When Riccardo Tisci landed the top job at Burberry, many – myself included – were concerned that Christopher Bailey’s gritty, off-beat view of Britishness left with him. No more Martin Parr social portraiture, no more acoustic sessions with rising British recording artists including the likes of Jake Bugg, or catwalk concerts from Tom Odell and James Bay.
So after leaving Givenchy to helm the iconic, most British of brands, he did what every self-respecting Italian fashion designer would’ve done. He speed dialled Vivienne Westwood, who brings with her her own quintessentially English eccentricity and irreverence to what is being billed as a collection of “re-imagined iconic styles, in celebration of British heritage."
Riccardo explains, “Vivienne Westwood was one of the first designers who made me dream to become a designer myself and when I first started at Burberry, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to approach her to do something. She is a rebel, a punk and unrivalled in her unique representation of British style, which has inspired so many of us. I am so incredibly proud of what we will be creating together.”
After the LV x Supreme collaboration whipped the Hypebeast generation into a tailspin last year, all bets are off when it comes to power-house pairings between brands no longer content to be confined to their own categories or catwalks. With Viv deciding to axed her catwalk shows – Red Label at London Fashion Week, and Gold Label in Paris – for digital presentations in a bid to be more environmentally conscious – the collaboration will support rainforest charity Cool Earth, a non-profit organisation that works alongside rainforest communities to halt deforestation and its impact on climate change, not only fits her social agenda, but gives Riccardo the British fashion royalty seal of approval.
The collaboration drops in December, after Riccardo’s first September show as Chief Creative Officer, and his first chance to show us his vision of Burberry Britishness. The world awaits.
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Photos: Courtesy of Burberry/Brett Lloyd and Jason Lloyd-Evans