Naomi! Irina! Bella! Big names walk in a beach-themed Burberry SS23 show

 (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Bur)
(Dave Benett/Getty Images for Bur)

Burberry held its postponed London Fashion Week show today in an industrial estate in Southwark.

Originally slated to take place in Trafalgar Square on Monday September, 19th, the day of The Queen’s funeral, royal warrant holder Burberry was forced to reschedule.

Today is the one fallow day between Milan and Paris fashion weeks, meaning several editors were absent. The runway however was far from lacking in big names: Naomi Campbell opened and was joined on the runway by Bella Hadid, Irina Shayk, Erin O’Conner and Mariacarla Boscono.

Kanye West also took up a seat front row, rocking a pair of sparkly flip-flops with socks.

The spring/ summer 2023 collection was, said Tisci in his notes, inspired by the beach “as a place where humanity meets, a point where different worlds collide. The tension between dressing and undressing, between revelation and protection, underwear and outerwear.” In a bid to capture this post-dip semi-dressed vibe, Tisci did jersey maxis with top halves so cutout as to be barely more than a harness and revealing bikinis underneath; denim skirts and halter tops with a denim jacket sewn in at the waist as though quickly tied and satin coats with towels attached as capes.

Kanye West, guest and Stormzy at Burberry (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Bur)
Kanye West, guest and Stormzy at Burberry (Dave Benett/Getty Images for Bur)

Heeled flip-flops, black plastic fish earrings, crystal-encrusted swimming goggle-style sunglasses and small bags strapped like arm bands all made for more literal nods to the seaside. The armband theme was continued, to more interesting effect, on a series of black velvet gowns with sculpted corsets that oozed red carpet-worthy drama.

The British beach may, as Tisci says, be “a place of democracy, of community… where people from all cultures can join together in simple pleasures,” but his crotchless skirts and dresses were enough to put even the most liberal of beachgoers off their picnic. Lord knows what the price tag will be, but does the Burberry woman really need a knicker-flashing maxi dress in her life?

Naomi Campbell for Burberry (Courtesy of Burberry)
Naomi Campbell for Burberry (Courtesy of Burberry)

Much lauded for the business success he achieved in his prior gig at Givenchy, Riccardo Tisci joined Burberry in 2018 and has set about bringing a streetwear-inflected vibe to the storied British coat maker via hype products, celebrity collaborations and NFT collections. His contract is set to expire in early 2023 and rumours are swirling that his time at the British house is nearly up, with Bottega’s Daniel Lee rumoured (among a list of names) as his replacement.

And given that Marco Gobetti, the CEO who brought Tisci on board after working with him at Givenchy, departed for Ferragamo last summer, and today Finance Chief Julie Brown announced she too would be departing April 2023, a shake-up at the British brand certainly appears to be underway.

Could today’s outing have been Riccardo’s last beachy trip for Burberry?