British designer Daniel Lee presented his second collection for Burberry at a star-studded show in London on Monday, unveiling summer versions of the famous trench coat and a range of new accessories.
Burberry, the iconic British brand founded in 1856, was, as usual, the most eagerly awaited show at London Fashion Week.
In a sign of its cultural power, Bond Street underground station in central London has been renamed “Burberry Street” for the duration of Fashion Week.
For his first show in February, Lee welcomed his hundreds of guests under a huge tent pitched in a London park in a nod to the British taste for outdoor activities — whatever the weather — an integral part of Burberry’s identity.
Among the VIP guests at Monday’s show included Australian singer Kylie Minogue, British actresses Jodie Comer and Rachel Weisz, British athlete and four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah, Arsenal midfielder Bukayo Saka and rappers Kano and Skepta.
Lee described the men’s and women’s collections as “an exploration of lightness, sensuality, beauty and elegance”.
“Brand codes evolve,” explained the designer, with its famous tartan becoming less prominent and “jewellery and hardware becoming hand-painted artworks and repeated prints” on shorts, dresses, shirts and trench coats.
For summer 2024, Burberry’s undisputed star — the trench coat — was worn wide and belted low on the hips.
Lee dared to present a bright orange trench coat with printed jewels, a far cry from the classic beige.
Royal blue strawberries and cherries appeared on a white jumpsuit and a dress while huge flowers, evoking English meadows, decorated long dresses.
Lee, who designed bags that were a big hit at Bottega Veneta, where he worked before Burberry, showed off his prowess with a series of eye-catching accessories.
He also experimented with shoes, displaying moccasins with chunky heels and high mules with the brand’s logo on the side for women, and loafers with square toes for men.
After the show, guests gathered to celebrate the arrival of Lee’s first collection — the one presented in February — at the label’s flagship store on New Bond Street, offering a chance to see how well its creations are selling.
Before the summer, the brand posted strong growth on the back of soaring sales in China.
Before the Burberry event, British and Nigerian designer Tolu Coker, who benefits from the “NewGen” initiative to support young talent, presented a collection strongly influenced by her twin identities.
The show began with a video of a family ceremony in London following her birth, followed by a catwalk display featuring only black male and female models.
For the women, her collection featured feminine and elegant outfits with well-crafted, body-hugging cuts that oozed creativity while remaining easy to wear.
For men, the Dr. Martens boots signalled a more street-wear style.
London Fashion Week comes to an end on Tuesday, with shows by Ukrainian designers welcomed to the British capital because of the war in their country.
The fashion world will then move on to Milan and finally Paris.