Burberry Catwalk Fashion Show ss2011

June 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Fashion, Featured Items, Menswear, Milan

For the recent wintercollection of Burberry Christopher Bailey went back to the roots of the old British label: the trenches of World War 1 en 2. And for his recent summercollection Bailey mixed the army-wear with skintight, vintage biker-pants and cropped weathered jackets.

Once again Bailey got all the military heritage at the stage and restored all the accents, like epaulets, belts and straps. The trenches looked sharp and clean. Colors were alike moving from black tot navy-blue, khaki and green. It looked like a solid, commercial collection with lots of items to put on your wish-list. If I were a man I would definitely save money for a black biker-jacket, a thin shirt and a clean, leather trench. But as a fashion-collection it did not stand out – I’ve seen better Burberry-collections with great shirts and accessories, in new colors and interesting daring  design, combinations or fabrics.

But hey, these are the days of surviving in the fashionworld.  And I forgive the designer for being so honest and calculating. Thanks to him Burberry is still going strong. It’s simply time to invest in great classic pieces, fast fashion can wait for now.

CFDA-Awards 2010

The CFDA-awards are considered to be the Oscars of the international fashionworld and is organised by the Council of Fashion designers of America. It’s one of the hottest tickets on the fashion calendar, and the awards are much coveted.

The Swarovski Awards, which are given to emerging talent, went to Jason Wu favourite of Michelle Obama.  He fought off competition from Joseph Altuzara and Prabal Gurung who won in the womenswear category. Richard Chai landed the menswear prize and Alexander Wang received the award for accessories.

The biggest prize of the night, Womenswear Designer of the Year, was won by Marc Jacobs. Christopher Bailey picked up the International Designer of the Year Prize.

There were also some special awards handed out. Michael Kors, the only winner to receive a standing ovation, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Anna Wintour. Legendary model Iman was given the Fashion Icon Award.

Sarah Jessica Parker, who was wearing an Alexander McQueen-dress hand-picked for her by the label’s new head of design, Sarah Burton led a tribute to the late, great designer.  She was followed by a parade of some of McQueen’s most iconic designs.

Christopher Bailey: Designer of the Year at BFA

December 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Events, Fashion, Fashion Professionals, London, People

Christopher Bailey, the creative whirlwind who has helped turn the heritage brand, Burberry, into a global luxury label, was wednesdaynight named ‘Designer of the Year’ 2009, at the British Fashion Awards. It is the second win for Bailey who previously was awarded the title in 2005.

Last night’s fashion “oscar” capped a remarkable year for Bailey, the 38-year-old Yorkshireman, who received the MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours earlier this year, and whose spring/summer 2010 Burberry Prorsum collection was the highlight of London Fashion Week, in September.

In addition, Burberry took home the Designer Brand award. In his acceptance speech, Bailey, who is chief creative officer, announced that Burberry Prorsum would continue to show at London Fashion Week in February.

You want to know why we like Christopher?

Bailey knows how to mix classic and modern and his particular skill is to cleverly update the brand stalwarts, like the trench, with enough fashion flair to make them seem fresh and wantable, season after season. The figures speak for themselves: while other brands languish in the recession, Burberry saw its revenue rise by 21% in the last financial year.  That translates into a lot of product sold — and Bailey is in control of it all. Everything you see ath Burberry’s headquarters has been passed by Bailey, not just the building, but the website and the furniture, right down to the bottles of water. He micromanages some areas, such as a new store concept, and macromanages the rest.

So is Bailey a scary control freak, unable to let go of even the smallest detail? “I’m so lucky,” he told Colin McDowell at The Sunday Times. “My role is challenging. It is so multifaceted, but that enables me to absorb many things that really interest me: the music for the shows, the website, the ad campaigns, the fragrances — and the clothes, of course.”

Bailey was brought up in Yorkshire; his father was a carpenter and his mother worked as a window-dresser for Marks & Spencer. Direct, natural and always articulate, he is a true Yorkshireman and no pushover. He trained in a tough school, working with Donna Karan, then as chief womenswear designer for Tom Ford at Gucci, before being chosen by Rose Marie Bravo, the chief executive at the time, to design for Burberry.

Despite all appearances — he is always in jeans and a T-shirt, but rarely without a jacket — Bailey is a fashion businessman as well as a designer. “The power that my job gives me is huge,” he says. “It would be so easy to be overwhelmed by the pressure. The deadlines, the budgets, the fact that my life at Burberry is so scheduled, and my days are full from 8.30am until late, usually well after 8pm. And the meetings. I’m always conscious that Burberry is much bigger than I am. It’s 153 years old. My life here hasn’t even reached 10 years yet, but I have been here long enough to say that Burberry flows in my veins. I love its values. I respond to its strong foundations and, of course, its history is a constant inspiration.”

According to Bailey, there is a knack to being a fashion polymath. “I can compartmentalise different aspects of my life in my head, so that, on one side, I have work and all the different projects we are involved in at any one moment, and on the other, my personal life. Keeping them in separate boxes contains them so they can both be made manageable. At work, I need order: cool, clean spaces that really help me to think clearly. But at home, I want that order to be scrambled.”

He has learnt how to go into performance mode in public, but he likes his private life to be private. “You know, I often think I could easily become a hermit,” he says. “I certainly know I can live by myself, although I would always choose to live in a loving relationship.” He is in one now, having recovered from an earlier relationship that ended in tragedy when his lover died. Maybe that’s why he claims: “The most wonderful thing is being happy with someone. Someone who can give you mental stimulation as well as emotional support.”

And he is very loyal. “My best friend is Rebecca. She was my best friend at school and she is still the person I ring more often than anybody, apart from my family. I go to Yorkshire whenever I can, have Sunday dinner with my parents, talk to Mum in the kitchen while she’s making the gravy. That’s when I feel totally happy and content.” He has a house not far from his parents; it’s an old farm, and he loves driving up there from his flat in Chelsea in what he claims is “a really clapped-out old Mini”.

Once he’s there, he has his way of unwinding. “I put on my wellies — I love my wellies — get the wheelbarrow out of the shed and bring in the logs and the coals. My great luxury is that I have a fire in the bedroom. Then I go to see the cows. I usually have friends to stay. We often end up at the local in the evening, having a few drinks.” It’s the same with holidays. “Nothing glamorous,” he says. “I just don’t need it.”

“It’s not looks, it’s character that counts with me. And really, I suppose, I like people in the same way that I like houses: a bit rambly and slouchy. People I can put my feet up with.”

See, that’s why we like him.

Groupielove #3


Christopher Bailey, chief creative officer of Burberry, and one of Great Britains best-known designers, collected last monday his MBE from Buckingham Palace. Bailey, 38, was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire  in June this year, for his services to the fashion industry “This award also recognises the incredible team that I work with and it is a privilege to be a part of Burberry, a great British brand” Bailey said.

The recognitions are the latest in a long list of awards for the talented Yorkshireman. In 2004, Bailey received an honorary fellowship from the Royal College of Art, from where he graduated with an MA in 1994. He also holds honorary doctorates from the University of Westminster and the University of Huddersfield.