The 5 Key Menswear Pieces from Riccardo Tisci’s Burberry SS19 Debut
Yesterday marked Riccardo Tisci‘s London Fashion Week debut as Burberry‘s new chief creative officer, and the Italian designer more than delivered. Pairing brand classics with deconstructed T-shirts and sweaters, logo-heavy sportswear with sharp, tailored suits, Tisci’s creative vision paves a new (but still nova-checked) path for the storied UK house.
Most importantly, the menswear items seen on the Burberry SS19 runway can, and most likely will, slide easily into any summer wardrobe. But to make the selection process a little easier, we’ve rounded up five key pieces that are sure to be staples this time next year.
Tisci first brought Disney’s Bambi onto the Givenchy catwalk back in Fall 2013, in the shape of a graphic-printed lace sweater. Placing the animated icon against black lace, the design stayed in line with Givenchy’s dark romantic vibe, and the item soon became the sweater of the season, clocked on Beyoncé, Carine Roitfeld, Lily Collins, and Anna Dello Russo. The same year, Bambi could be found on the label’s backpacks, totes, wallets, and phone cases.
For Burberry’s SS19 show, Tisci brought Bambi back. This time, however, the Disney creature got a contemporary makeover. Rather than using the image of the character, the designer put deer fur print on a number of shirts — a great alternative to the snakeskin trend that dominated shows earlier this summer — and likely a reference to the fact the brand is no longer using real fur.
Our favorite execution of the deer print is the “WHY DID THEY KILL BAMBI” zip-up tee, but it can also be found on multi-print shirts and updated classics such as the inner hood lining of a new trench coat.
At Burberry’s SS18 show, the heritage brand’s iconic nova check was everywhere. The show marked the end of Christopher Bailey’s reign, a reign that saw him completely turn around the UK’s perception of the nova check. During his 17-year tenure at the house, he reclaimed the nova from its status as a demonized symbol of the country’s so-called “chavs.” It had become associated with anti-social behavior among the British working class, but by the end of Bailey’s time, it was once again a signifier of covetable luxury.
SS18 was a celebration of that. Teaming up with Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy, Burberry saw its nova check adorning bucket hats, shorts, and short-sleeved shirts. It was also reimagined in the colors of the rainbow flag as a tribute to the LGBT+ community by Bailey, who was the first openly gay CEO to feature on the FTSE 100.
One year later under Tisci, the nova is going in another new direction: a stripped-down version we’ve dubbed the “half nova.” The half nova does what it says on the tin — it’s half the check, meaning now we have horizontal stripes in the nova’s OG tan/black/white/red colorway. On menswear, the half nova was featured primarily on a pair of shorts crafted in a heavyweight jersey-like material. They’ll undoubtedly become the label’s must-cop streetwear banger by the time next summer rolls in.
Tisci’s accessories offered some of the most intriguing ideas. Belts with the appearance of bike locks were wrapped around models’ waists, encased in leather and fastened with leather-clad padlocks. Meanwhile, umbrellas — long a Burberry staple thanks to the UK’s forever-rain climate — boasted chain straps and were worn slung over models’ backs in side bag fashion.
Two of the more interesting accessory inclusions were the gray knitted button-up chest strap placed over a shirt and tie, worn underneath a cardigan in the same fabric, and a similar tan button-up bandeau under a classic trench. It’s not clear whether the straps are a separate item or part of the cardigan and trench. If it is separate, you don’t necessarily have to style it underneath matching garms.
Elsewhere, a chunkier iteration of the side bag was introduced in the shape of a miniature hiking backpack flipped horizontally, complete with mesh side pockets, buckle fastenings, and cord-pull zippers.
Logomania has been back for some time now. The trend features branding emblazoned across sweaters, bags, and everything in between, and has been employed in recent seasons by brands such as Vetements, Fendi, Dior, and Calvin Klein.
This season, Tisci’s embrace of the trend was present in a statement coat — more specifically, a classic Burberry trench with giant red type printed across the chest and arms. The font, of course, is the same as Burberry’s new logo, which Tisci unveiled last month.
The font-splashed trench wasn’t the only way Tisci injected Burberry’s new graphic identity into the collection. Alongside the updated logo came a monogram taken from the depths of Burberry’s archive. Designed by legendary Manchester graphic designer Peter Saville of Factory Records fame, the monogram is inspired by a 1908 logo that interweaves Burberry founder Thomas Burberry’s initials in a nova check colorway.
Mixing things up for the runway, Tisci dropped a diamond cut-out monogram sweater in a monochrome colorway with light blue accents. At the show, Tisci placed the sweater over a pale blue nova check shirt-and-tie combination for a crazy optical feast. But this look could just as easily be worn over a plain white or black tee and still turn heads.
Do you have a favorite look from Burberry’s SS19 collection? Shout out in the comments.
In related news, attendees at Burberry’s SS19 show flexed their best nova check looks.