“Fashion needs context,” said Christopher Bailey after presenting his final collection for Burberry in February. “There are so many questions being asked in the world now: about our values, about the way we live, the way we consume. I wanted us as a big organisation to make a stand for something. It is a way for me to try and make some sense of all this chaos.”
The Fall/Winter ‘18 collection was about LGBTQ+, with the rainbow colours were seen on each pieces of the collection, like the rainbow check motif. Burberry collaborated with United Visual Artists to show a stunning laser light show illuminated the runway for the finale. “My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to – and in support of – some of the best and brightest organisations supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world,” said Bailey to Vogue UK. “There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength, and our creativity.”
Bailey, was reflecting on his 17 years with the British label. “As well as reviving Burberry, Bailey played a major role in boosting London Fashion Week,” The Observer noted. When Burberry moved its show from Milan to London in 2009, it signalled the city’s new status as a serious player.”
The New York Times praised Bailey for turning around “a once-dormant heritage brand that over 17 years he had transformed not only into a retailing phenomenon – a multibillion-dollar enterprise with 460 stores and 10,000 employees – but also a global symbol of Britishness.”
Of the show, The Observer reported: “All the disparate elements of Burberry’s history were represented: trenchcoats and silk evening dresses nodded to high-fashion highlights, while shellsuits and plastic visors acknowledged the label’s place in the history of streetwear. But when the standing ovation came, the applause was for the man, not the clothes.” The 46-year-old designer will depart on March 31 with a series of initiatives, and one of the first is to make donations to the Albert Kennedy Trust, the Trevor Project and ILGA, organisations which all aim to raise the voices of and mobilise LGBTQ+ communities.