When ‘Burberry’ comes to mind, we tend to think of its classic check pattern in traditional, neutral hues. However for Christopher Bailey’s final show, he transformed the Burberry catwalk into a multicoloured rainbow in celebration of the LGBTQ community. The fashion house has provided and continues to provide a lot of financial support for the LGBTQ community and as well as creating awareness and celebrating the community, some of the proceeds of items will be donated in aid of charities helping the LGBTQ youth.
Bailey has seen Burberry through thick and thin, and has turned it into what it is today – a company with a net worth of 7.7 billion. He’s not just indebted to the company but to British fashion in general, as he helped to restore London as a fashion capital, by moving the Burberry fashion show there rather than having it in Milan where it was originally held. The chief executive of the BFC (the British Fashion Council), Caroline Rush, commented that nobody had done more than Christopher Bailey to promote British fashion, saying “Christopher has played a significant role in the British Fashion Industry, putting innovation at the heart of Burberry and ensuring that it is an exciting, relevant, forward-thinking global fashion brand.” Bailey also was very tech-savvy by making Burberry one of the first ever fashion houses to live-stream their show, allowing for people to be able to watch it love from all parts of the world. Not only was he creative director of the brand, but also the CEO until he stepped down from that position in July of last year. Notably he is also the first ever openly gay chief executive of a FTSE 100 company, which is definitely an incredible feat.
One of 2018’s ‘it’ models, Adwoa Aboah, opened the show wearing a white silk floor-length skirt with a vertical rainbow running through it. The runway saw rainbow colours on just about anything that you could imagine – bags, trainers, hats, shawls, puffas, and the list goes on and on. It goes without saying that the genius that is Christopher Bailey created different looks where some kept in line with the key fashion trends in a more modest way as well as having some more ostentatious outfits, and both together made for an incredible spectacle. The final look to walk down the runway, modelled by none other than Cara Delevigne, paraded a multi colored floor length fur coat which is certainly fit for royalty. Cara was greatly supported by Bailey in her early career, as I’m sure you’ve seen that she has been the face of almost every Burberry product since her rise to stardom. However, it is a well known fact that although she came to be known as a model, she is now taking a break from the modelling world and is focusing on her acting career. Which is why her appearance on the runway caused the audience to be somewhat surprised by her concluding the show.
There are so many amazing and influential moments that have been created for Burberry by Christopher Bailey during his seventeen years within the company, and his final show truly gave him the send-off he deserved. He depicted the traditional British nature of the brand but combined that with the diversity that is so prevalent in modern day society. In saying all this, it seems quite fitting that his final collection is called ‘time’ as it truly does represent his time with the brand – it represents the past, the present, and the future of Burberry.
Shannon Doherty – Fashion Editor