THE FINAL look of Burberry’s spring/summer 2024 collection came as a surprise. A topless model strode down the runway wearing low-slung dress pants, which were held up by a wide leather belt. Holding the belt together was a cowboy-sized belt buckle in the shape of Burberry’s horse and knight logo; rather delightfully, it looked a bit like the steed was soaring from one hip to another.
It was one of the sexiest looks we’ve seen from Daniel Lee since he joined the quintessentially British house last year, and, well, it left us wanting more.
The designer’s collections tend to have this effect. He has a track record of making even the most simple, straightforward pieces feel hopelessly covetable, and this collection was full of them. A crisp eggplant-coloured shirt tucked into baggy brown shorts with sleeve cuffs worn open, finished with a pair of glittery mules in midnight blue? I’ll take the lot. A beige trench coat with a drop-wait belt, inspired by outdoor living? Who knew a simple twist could make a classic feel so fresh.
This isn’t to say the collection lacked pomp. Although interestingly, for such a gifted colourist, there was less emphasis on splendid hues and clashing combinations. Pops of the brilliant blue we saw lots in his first outing for the British brand were splashed sparingly throughout the collection, while the metallic sheen of those mules was picked up in tasselled turtlenecks, which came in dressed for women and a very cool silver vest for men.
While the tartan print that ran through Lee’s first Burberry collection was more subtle, hand-painted illustrations of chains, clasps and lockets formed the collection’s standout print. Described as “embracing the clichés of British fruits”, a whimsical cherry print covered the line up’s second sexiest look. I couldn’t think of an ensemble more suited to gliding through an English meadow on a steamy day.
In Daniel Lee, Burberry has found a designer that will, almost certainly, transform it into the next ‘It’ brand. But with this collection, the designer made it clear he won’t be relying on his back catalogue of hits to make the heritage house the hottest thing in fashion today. In the styling and silhouettes that defined this collection, you could feel Lee searching for something new.
Upon reflection, the most ‘new’ thing about this outing was the feeling it evoked. It was a feeling of lightness, elegance and that irresistible appeal that tends to course through this designer’s collections.