Burberry Turns the Page With Daniel Lee’s Debut Collection

In the case of fashion industry shakeups, Daniel Lee appears to be the go-to. The English designer brought significant change to Bottega Veneta several years ago, ushering in a latest era of luxury for the Italian house. And now, he’s been tasked with updating the storied Burberry brand. His first collection, which was unveiled last night in London, gave slightly taste of what he believes is the long run of fashion for the British label, and the world. For the uninitiated, Lee is a marketing whiz, as seen together with his explicit return to Burberry’s signature Equestrian Knight Design (EKD)—this time, in a daring royal blue—which appeared in storefronts and campaigns well before his first look hit the runway. He can see directly into the long run of making what people want before they even know they need it; to place it plainly: Lee can see ahead of the curve. The very first thing to go was the minimal logos, that are all ubiquitous and defy classicism, something Lee leans into and rejects in equal doses.

Burberry’s Equestrian Knight Design motif gets a royal blue update.

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What was noticeably missing from his debut was the legendary Burberry khaki trench and check in its classic tan/white/black iteration. As a substitute, Lee took the checks and opted for royal blues, purples, yellows, and greens. Super-saturated versions on the bias cut defined the coolness he brings to his creations. Trenches made an appearance within the opening duo of looks, but in a subdued forest green and, notably, florals on a furry closing look. Shoes were fuzzy with foxtails for heels and delicate leather straps, balancing hard and soft with ease, or took the shape of otherwise easy wellies or furry chukkas in yellows and tans. Bags were also replete with foxtails, and slung across the body or under the shoulder. The styling, if not a bit overwhelming, spoke to the range Lee envisions for the brand because it reinvents itself yet again.

burberry fall winter 2023 runway

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burberry daniel lee fall winter 2023

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burberry daniel lee

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burberry daniell ee

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There was a youth in Lee’s approach that was not seen in former creative director Riccardo Tisci’s moderately rigid designs, one which speaks to quite a lot of customers, with cheeky graphic tees, ridiculously large hunting hats, and even a hilarious knitted duck hat as seen on model Kit Butler on the runway. It also marked the primary time since Christopher Bailey’s tenure that a real Englishman is on the helm of the brand, marking a real synergy between designer and house, one we are able to’t wait to see evolve as he further defines what Burberry means to him.

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Kevin LeBlanc is the Fashion Associate at ELLE Magazine. He covers fashion news, trends, and anything to do with Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

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