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"In Bloom": Riccardo Tisci between earth and water

Burberry's SS21 show becomes a video installation inspired by the opposite worlds of nature, the sea and the forest

In Bloom: Riccardo Tisci between earth and water Burberry's SS21 show becomes a video installation inspired by the opposite worlds of nature, the sea and the forest

To be inspired by the sea and, in the words of creative director Riccardo Tisci, the "love story between a mermaid and a shark", the show from Burberry's SS21 collection kept itself quite far from the water. The 59 looks of the collection, in fact, paraded through the trees of a sunny park, in the midst of an installation by Anne Imhof and with the prog-rock musical accompaniment by Eliza Douglas. The end result was a digital/video-installation music-choreographic performance of sure impact, more like a druid ritual than the re-enactment of an English summer. The technological element, at least, has been exploited to its full potential, both for the broadcasting of the show to the public (which was streamed on Twitch for the first time with exceptional presenters such as Erykah Badu, Rosala, Steve Lacy and Bella Hadid) and for the final effect close to that of an extraordinarily elaborate video-performance.

The return to nature, with all its possible symbolic and thematic implications, has been central in many of this year's SS21 collections, as well as the use of parks and natural oases: from the wheat field of Jacquemus, to the Zegna show to that of Reese Cooper (but also Matteo Garrone's fashion film for the Dior couture collection) many fashion brands have exploited the charm of the woods to indicate a connection with the natural world. But the idea of using the scenario together with an installation while maintaining the entire carbon neutral project was a strategically very interesting move and that made the woods something more than just a backdrop but a structural element of the show.

In the case of Burberry, then, the link with the natural world is even closer as this show carbon neutral and is part of the brand's broader project to implement sustainable measures for the future. The symbol chosen by Tisci for the show was that of renewal, rather than the return to its origins. Riccardo Tisci declared:

«The collection is called In Bloom because I thought about regeneration, dynamic youth, nature that is constantly recreated, grows and evolves».

The dominance of earth tones in the scenario had only a partial response in a collection that, as has been said, is inspired by the aquatic world and in which the same movements of the models were "like the waves that crash, uncontrolled on the shore", to quote the notes that accompany the show-performance. The dominant palette color is composed of blue, white and black, interrupted by a parenthesis of orange look and the beige sympter that is part of the Burberry DNA from the beginning. If on the feminine side of the collection you can see a work on the alternation of textures, hard and light, solid and ethereo; The male one is more inspired by the practicality and efficiency of the garments originally created by founder Thomas Burberry who, let's remember, invented the gabardine, the first technical water-repellent fabric – a further reference to the aquatic world. 

The design of the trench coats, the brand's item-symbol, is perhaps the most interesting part of the collection. Tisci takes it and deconstructs it, flares it, changes materials, decorates it and remixes its silhouette indefinitely. The most beautiful is a pattern with a blue serpentine print that contrasts against the sand color but there is also one transformed with rubber cotton inserts, leather and details of a denim jacket and others with sculptural lapels on the back and characteristic cutouts. The clothing of the fishermen, made almost unrecognizable by its luxury update, inspires some of the most lifestyle-souled garments and the presence of crystals, both on the women's and men's side, evokes the ocean environment while the graphics of mermaids, newts, sharks and headlights give a unique twist to the rest of the collection.