Christopher Bailey’s Final Burberry Bow Pays Homage To Pride

Christopher Bailey’s Final Burberry Bow Pays Homage To Pride

The creative director left Burberry with a personal and prideful collection full of rainbows.

The creative director left Burberry with a personal and prideful collection full of rainbows.

Text: Jake Viswanath

Christopher Bailey’s final show for Burberry was always going to be an emotional affair. During his grandiose 17-year tenure, he expertly brought the historic fashion house into the present, reshaping the label with each new season and transforming it into the style monolith we know it as today. He had never been afraid to embrace the brand’s rich history, whether it be through a revival of the iconic check or the subtle use of British icons like Virginia Wolff, and ironically, it was this anti-resistance and his ability to weave it into progressive movements that made Bailey such a defining figure.

A trip down memory lane was expected for his final show (the collection is entitled "Time", after all), and while Bailey technically delivered, he turned the lens on something rather unexplored in Burberry’s history: himself. His last hurrah pays homage, unabashedly, to his club days, immersing the guests inside a rave warehouse-esque setting complimented by sharp lasers and a nostalgically iconic soundtrack — very fitting, considering that this last collection is a tribute to LGBT youth, a heartfelt motif that becomes obvious from the moment that Adwoa Aboah opened the show in a flowing white skirt with painted rainbow stripe.

In a proud last move, Bailey reconfigured the iconic check with rainbow stripes and didn’t stop there: rainbows graced baseball caps, classic carry-alls, and a particularly glorious puffer jacket, a welcome accompaniment to the brand’s lasting dedication to the LGBT community (Bailey also leaves three large donations to LGBT youth charities as he leaves the brand). And they fit oh so well amongst the collection’s eclectic '80s rebirth, with oversized raver jackets and mish-mash prints.

As proud and mighty as the collection stands on its own, it was inevitably Cara Delevingne’s finale walk in that rainbow faux fur cape that allowed the emotional impact of the show to truly set in. The lyrics of disco classic “Don’t Leave Me This Way” was an all-too-appropriate sendoff for the creative director, who took his final bow after perhaps his most sentimental and meaningful collection. In finale, Bailey leaves Burberry just as he started: an advocate for creativity and innovation, and a humble champion of pride.

Credits: Photos via Burberry

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