A New Face Walked the Burberry Runway Show in London: Phoebe Philo’s Daughter

The Burberry show, held on Monday, was all about the Noughties, a throwback to British style in the turn of the century. The model lineup featured 2000s legends like Naomi Campbell, Edie Campbell, Lily Donaldson, and Lily Cole. The show opened with Manchester-native and one of the 2000s’ most recognizable faces in fashion, Agyness Deyn. Among the fashion veterans, the show closed with a new face: Phoebe Philo’s 18-year-old daughter, Maya Wigram.

High fashion fans will know that casting Wigram for her runway debut was, in many ways, a nostalgia play of its own. Designer Daniel Lee, who landed at the helm of Burberry in October 2022, used to head womenswear under Phoebe Philo during her time as Creative Director at Céline from 2008-2017.

The debut model, about whom we know very little—she has a private Instagram and spotty activity as a Depop seller—wore a mid-length buttery leather trench with a belt-cinched waist and high neck, paired with a floor-length kilt-style tartan skirt. Her hair was tucked into her neckline, a Philo-favorite styling move. She also had an umbrella, which is a need, not a want, if you’re in the UK. Her dad, art dealer Max Wigram shared a video of her modeling the collection’s final look. She commented, “Love u dad.”

On the whole, the show, which was held in East London’s Victoria Park, was marked with moody olives, browns, and blacks, and a visual language made of leather, tailoring, and fur trim. If there’s one house that will make Autumn/Winter pieces that are actually designed to be worn in cold weather, it’s Burberry. The presentation was soundtracked by Amy Winehouse. The collection celebrates how sexy and smart British fashion was in the 2000’s. Lee’s first two shows with Burberry were somewhat experimental and met with mixed reviews, but this one was a modern return to form. Lee said the collection started with a focus on British and Irish wool from Lochcarron and Donegal and an emphasis on “craft.” The clothes were meant “for rolling around outside. They’re clothes you can live in,” Lee said.

If it wasn’t clear from the outerwear and the umbrellas in several of the models’ hands, the show really emphasized taking clothes offline and into the conditions of a material environment. The collection, if you watched videos of the show or happened to be there, made a case for the fact that clothes are meant for the real world and not just for Instagram. Front-facing still shots of the models are beautiful, no doubt, but in the videos, especially ones taken by attendees, you can see how much the garments move, how much they spread, how much they interact with gravity and with the wearer. Much of the inspiration feels to have come from London life and British nightlife and festival dressing: wellies, waxed coats, mini-skirts, wools, and tights, all in colors that shine in overcast weather.

In terms of where trends are headed, some styling choices stood out from this show. Trousers from the collection were baggy, but still streamlined and polished. The trouser worn in the opening look by Agyness Deyn was heavily cuffed at the bottom, showing a dark green and chartreuse tartan print. There were also scarves worn in that very Copenhagen balaclava-style wrapped around the head. Motifs of pressed pleats aren’t new to the season, but we can expect them to stay a while longer. The collection also included graphic closure elements: buckles on boots, heavy toggle closures, bigger metal hardware, like zippers and studs.

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