Daniel Lee Delivers Ducks, Fluff, and British Realness at Burberry FW23
WEDNESDAY 8:54 FEB 22, 2023 MILAN
After an exhausting day spent sitting in the front row at some excellent fashion shows, our editor-in-chief Mel Ottenberg called up our senior editor Taylore Scarabelli to give her the British tea on Burberry FW23. It was creative director Daniel Lee’s highly anticipated debut for the storied brand, a twist on classic UK tropes that included vibrant tartan looks, faux fox tails, and duck motifs that had our editors squawking.
TAYLORE SCARABELLI: Hello.
MEL OTTENBERG: Hi.
SCARABELLI: How’s it going? Where are you?
OTTENBERG: I am in my hotel room, and I needed a mental 30 minutes, but I didn’t get 30 seconds. But today has been very fun, so it’s fine.
SCARABELLI: You’re in Milan.
OTTENBERG: I’m in Milan. My driver’s outside, I’m going to my favorite restaurant tonight and I’m having this special pasta with sea bass.
SCARABELLI: That sounds great.
OTTENBERG: Yeah. I’m taking eating really seriously.
SCARABELLI: But we’re going to have to backtrack to London.
OTTENBERG: Let’s backtrack to London, babes. I’m pulling up the Burb show. Okay, so why don’t we just run through some of my faves. Are you looking at it as well?
SCARABELLI: I’m pulling it up right now.
OTTENBERG: All right, so first of all, I love a tail. I mean, I was 24 in the year 2000. I am literally a big fur tail from St. Mark’s Place. I particularly liked this brown suede, or rough leather, natural toned bag with a tail that the finale boy had, and the really obnoxious shoes with tails coming off of them. That’s the kind of Daniel Lee rudeness that I really appreciate. The color is great. I thought the show was going to be very tartan and beige, did you?
SCARABELLI: I mean, I’m not surprised by these colors. Daniel Lee’s a colorful guy, he’s all about having the color du jour for whatever brand he’s at. People are saying—wait but the blue rose. I’ve been obsessed with blue roses ever since I rewatched that Lindsay Lohan horror movie I Know Who Killed Me. Anyway, apparently, this royal blue is going to be the new Bottega Green. It’s Burberry blue.
OTTENBERG: Oh, I think that’s cool. I like that color. Wait, I really like the bag in look nine, because there’s also a tail on the back. There’s two tails. I think that’s a hot fucking bag. It reminds me of the Martin Margiela First bag, which I believe he debuted in 1997, of which I still have the original. It’s has a kidney shape. And I think this is giving that shape. I guess I’m an asshole, but I like furry things.
SCARABELLI: There’s a lot of duck motifs going on. He’s jumping back over the pond, into the pond. Is that what they say in the UK?
OTTENBERG: The pond, babe.
SCARABELLI: It got a little quacky and kooky with the ducks, and I was into it, especially that last—
OTTENBERG: I really like the coat from number 16, that’s a hot raincoat, the yellow coat with the fur collar.
SCARABELLI: Oh yeah, that all yellow look. I was watching this show in bed with period cramps and I have to say, I really related to styling a hot water bottle as an accessory.
OTTENBERG: I left mine in my hotel room, along with my toothbrush and my tooth grinding night guard, otherwise I would’ve been happy to give you my bottle.
SCARABELLI: I’m so sad.
OTTENBERG: I got a new toothbrush, but the night guard is a problem. Oh, I also love the bag in look 18.
OTTENBERG: And Iris Law’s look. Iris Law is giving Parker Posey in Party Girl, 1995. Sexy librarian. Dewey Decimal System. I understand it.
SCARABELLI: Oh, it is totally Party Girl. The mix-and-match, the tartan tights.
OTTENBERG: And I like putting a girl as hot as Iris in that. And also, we’ve got—what’s his name?
SCARABELLI: Okay, wait, I have to say, that’s like the hot kooky girl aesthetic that Bella Hadid and Iris Law are spearheading according to i-D clickbait or whatever. That’s what that is.
OTTENBERG: Yes. Maybe Iris styled that outfit, and if she did, I’m obsessed. Also, I like look 36 with the duck hat on that guy, the most beautiful man in fashion. Kit Butler.
SCARABELLI: Oh yes.
OTTENBERG: I mean, this hat is iconic.
SCARABELLI: Gen Z’s love animal hats. It’s a big thing.
OTTENBERG: That hat is the best part of this collection. I mean number 38, Miss Mary-Kate and Ashley, she was really giving, too. It’s like 2006 Marc Jacobs. What do you think? She just needs a Venti.
SCARABELLI: And one more handbag.
OTTENBERG: Wait, I’m not even on the shoes I really liked yet. Wait. Oh, I really like the bag from number 42. I just think that bag’s fucking cute. And again, I was 24 in 2000, and I know you weren’t alive yet, or you weren’t there. But the tail was so major. I used a tail in my first editorial ever, which was spring, March 2001 in The Face.
SCARABELLI: And you would never guess that it’s faux, but it is.
OTTENBERG: It’s an amazing faux, because see how they get the imperfections right, if you zoom in on that bag?
SCARABELLI: It’s got like little cowlicks, and—
OTTENBERG: No one’s ever done that in fake fur, so I think he’s kind of shitting on everyone else’s fake fur. Lennon’s really cute, I was too starstruck to talk to him. He’s number 43. He was at the pub afterwards. I didn’t talk to him. Look 44 is wild, and I’m kind of really into it. Look at her.
SCARABELLI: I mean, It’s raining in London, bitch. It’s cold, it’s wet, and you want to be cozy.
OTTENBERG: Yes. The bag of 47 is mega. It’s a metal bag. It’s really loud and noisy, I really like it.
SCARABELLI: And the rose shoe, the blue rose shoe.
OTTENBERG: Okay, the shoe of 52 is so obnoxious. I love it so much. Rihanna is wearing it right now in a world that I want to live in. The show was 48 hours ago. I’m texting Rihanna this picture right now.
SCARABELLI: Right, she should be wearing that. But can we also talk about how there’s this super sexy, fuzzy shoe, and then we have the new colorful rubber boot, which is like, the Burberry version of Daniel Lee’s puddle boot at Bottega. It’s a little more refined, a little more adult. It doesn’t have that big platform. It’s for a grown girl who’s actually walking in the rain.
OTTENBERG: This show is for people who walk. They talk and they walk. They talk the talk and they walk the walk. I’m definitely texting Rihanna this shoe—
SCARABELLI: Was there an after party?
OTTENBERG: There was this after party in this little pub that has multiple floors. This major DJ was DJing, everyone was freaking out about it. But it was small, just a couple hundred people.
SCARABELLI: It was an intimate British pub gathering.
OTTENBERG: I mean, it was more like a rave in a pub. I’m freaking out about this fucking DJ, I need to look him up, wait.
SCARABELLI: And then you had a roast? Was that there or somewhere else?
OTTENBERG: No, there was definitely no roast at the pub. I mean, the pub was like a pumping rave—
SCARABELLI: But I do want to hear about the roast. Was it good?
OTTENBERG: The roast was so good. Okay I found the DJ No, it is not DJ Khaled, which is the first DJ that came up when I typed DJ. It’s DJ EZ.