Seeds Planted Now
For Burberry’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection named In Bloom, Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci celebrates the emblems and hallmarks of the fashion house – its character, its nature, its unique DNA, and remasters them with a dynamic modern energy. Inviting the internationally acclaimed artist Anne Imhof to collaborate, Riccardo has curated a unique show experience – a play of aesthetics, ideologies and tensions, between unbridled natural instincts and focused precision, between rules and rebellion. Burberry has always offered the freedom to explore the new and the unknown – these times suggest a redress, a reset, a new way of thinking. A new environment to explore.
For the Burberry Spring/Summer 2021 show, Riccardo explores the power of fashion to communicate, to move and to evoke emotion. He presents a modern mythology, a contemporary fairy tale in the deep ocean, a love story blooms between a mermaid and a shark, darkly romantic and unexpected. The sea, always beautiful, sometimes savage, invariably romantic, inspires the clothing. It reflects a multifaceted view of Britain – simultaneously rural and urban, spanning earth and ocean, always expressing freedom.
Riccardo’s collaborative creative partnership with Anne Imhof, an artist synonymous with her groundbreaking endurance performances and installation works, offers a collision of fashion and art. Together, the duo have conceived a fashion show as a performance: staged for a digital audience, the show experience is designed as an installation exploring the freedom of expression – transforming fiction into fact as the real becomes unreal. Like waves crashing, uncontrolled against the shore, the performance features an ebb and flow of bodies, models and performers as one – a swelling and falling tide of figures moving through the space – a raw urban environment, created within the ever-blooming landscape of the British outdoors. It celebrates a symbiosis of wild, untamed nature and human structure – here, united.
Perspectives are ever-changing, viewpoints reexamined. Burberry debuts its Spring/Summer 2021 show on Twitch with hosts Erykah Badu, Rosalía, Steve Lacy and Bella Hadid in the first collaboration between a luxury fashion brand and the live video streaming service alongside live streams on Instagram and Burberry.com. As part of Anne Imhof’s art environment, her long-term collaborator, fellow artist and musician Eliza Douglas performs – her music provides a unique real-time soundtrack, further exploring the blurred boundaries between art, fashion and live events.
The Spring/Summer 2021 collection is a dialogue between different worlds colliding into one, blending the natural and the fashioned, fusing utility with romance. Womenswear reflects the juxtaposition of the mystical and the natural; strong and delicate, hard and soft, with the elegant details of tulle and chiffon, fishnets studded with crystals, allegorical prints and artworks. Menswear draws from the rugged elegance and practicality of the wardrobes of seafarers with rubberised finishes, hardy denim and Thomas Burberry’s gabardine. The palette is sharply focused, immersed in a spectrum of blue tones, an oceanic panorama accented with sandy Burberry beige and bolts of mariner orange. Portholes, based on the handle of Burberry’s new signature the Pocket Bag, feature across accessories and garments, opening windows onto different layers.
Burberry’s DNA is historically tied to water – the fashion house’s founder Thomas Burberry invented the first technical fabric – gabardine – designed to repel water and to protect the body. Today, the Burberry trench coat remains at the core of the brand. With this collection, Riccardo continues to reinterpret this icon with fresh iterations, including sculptural loop-back and cut-out styles as well as expanding to a full-length coat cross-bred with contrast tails of denim.
Water itself is symbolic of renewal, regeneration, changing tides and hope springing eternal. Today, it also represents freedom – a release, an escape, the excitement of new and unknown environments to explore. Great expanses, distant horizons, from which new life blooms. For Spring/Summer 2021, Burberry writes a new chapter of a mythology made in modern times.