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Monday, September 7, 2009

Headline Trip

Add some a tan, chest hair and a come-hither squint and Burberry’s Christopher Bailey could be England's Tom Ford—and yet not. [Times UK]

Gareth Pugh for the masses? According to an email we got today, his NY video presentation will be open to the public, proving he's nothing if not a risk-taker.

Move over Kanye West (please?), Yohji has enlisted graffiti artist MOMO to bomb a limited run of Y-3 sneakers. [The Moment]

Making Mama and Papa proud, or at least one of them, Georgina May Jagger rolls around half-clad for Hudson jeans. [Daily Beast]

Is Taylor Momsen the latest fashion victim? With bleached hair and ripped tights, the Gossip Girl starlet might be following in Lindsay’s footsteps. [Page Six]

Gareth Pugh

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Q&A: Christopher Bailey

Given his fantastically glamourous job as Burberry's creative director, you might think Christopher Bailey is the type to have glitzy million-dollar condos stretching from Rio to Goa and keep a staff of well-pressed butlers, chauffeurs and vase-dusters. But no. The real Christopher Bailey, with his tousled red hair and generous smile, is a Bob-Dylan-listening, sloppy-sofa-relaxing country boy, as he told me just hours before hosting the star-studded christening of the new Burberry headquarters in New York. Which, apparently, is just part of the job...

Lee Carter: The Burberry tartan is one of the most famous trademarks in the world. What are your own trademarks, passions and fetishes?
Christopher Bailey: One of my biggest things is that I love the countryside. People don't usually associate that with a fashion designer, but it's something that's really important or me. I was brought up in the countryside. I love gardening and spending time in agricultural surroundings.

How very British of you. You're almost as British as Madonna. Do you have horses, too?
I do have horses in my field. That probably makes me a big fat cliché.

More like a thin cliché. You're quite thin.
Well, I'd like to be, but I'm drinking too much.

Welcome to the club! Burberry is such a quintessentially British brand. Are you an Anglophile?
I've never considered myself an Anglophile. I've lived all over the world. I've lived in New York, Munich, Paris, Milan for a long time. Now I'm back in the UK, which is kind of weird. I do love my roots. I do love England and its diversity, but I also love being in other cities. I'd get claustrophobic in one place. Today we're in Manhattan, tomorrow I'm in London, Saturday in Yorkshire...

What's in Yorkshire?
That's where I live. I have a home there, a little cottage.

It must be a very sweet cottage.
It is a very sweet cottage. It's also very old, from 1633. It's an old farmhouse, surrounded by fields and cows and horses.

I bet you've done it up very nicely.
Actually I just finished a huge renovation. I hope it's nice. It's very simple. I love it.

What's your taste when it comes to interiors?
I don't like things when they feel too prissy or untouchable. If you're going to have a sofa then it should be a big sloppy sofa. I like a bit of grime and dirt as well. I don't like things too spotless and perfect. The same with clothes. I want clothes to feel like you own them, not like they own you. They should be a little disheveled and broken down.

Like they have stories to tell.
Yes, exactly. I love stories and poetry.

Do you really like poetry?
I don't love poetry. [Laughs.] We have something on English TV at the moment. They're trying to promote poetry in the UK, so I'm going to start reading poetry. I think I haven't been patient enough in the past.

I know music, too, is one of your interests. And I hear you discovered One Night Only, the band that's playing at tonight's launch...
I wouldn't say I discovered them. I would love to say that. I guess I found them before they hit.

What does music mean to you and how does it play into your work?
Music is so important. I love so many different types of music, from classical to one of my favorite artists, Bob Dylan. I love Joni Mitchell, the Stones, punk, the Pistols.

I'd love to see a punk-inspired Burberry collection. What would that look like?
I'm always a little influenced by punk anyway. But I like it when you discover that it's influenced by punk rather than wearing safety pins all over.

Not that you've never done that.
Not that I've never done that.

What's the most outrageous thing you've ever worn?
I was never crazy, but I did dye my hair blue. That's not so wild.

A lot of designers pretend like they lead normal lives, but it's rarely true. What's a typical weekend like for you?
I spend a lot of time in my studio working on a gazillion things, from fragrances to new buildings to designing furniture, and of course all the collections. But I also have my life outside the office, though I'm not a party person. I like to celebrate but I prefer intimacy to big parties, so I will usually go out for dinner or cook for friends and family. I spent last weekend with my family. We just cooked, read the newspapers, drank too much.

Let's talk about the new New York headquarters. It's a huge undertaking.
Yes, a labor of love. It's slightly smaller than our new London global headquarters. We designed it with the same plans, same layout, same furniture. But we do not have the big Burberry sign in London.

Neon just feels so New York.
Exactly. It's one of only six grandfathered buildings in New York where you can do that, so it's a big deal for us to be able to affect the iconic Manhattan skyline, which I love. And everyone here has a great can-do attitude. You guys are always glass half-full, whereas maybe in the UK we're a bit glass half-empty. There's always such camaraderie in New York. It's a pleasure being here.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hint Tip: Burberry

You know, there's nothing sadder than a dark neon sign, the very symbol of good times. Happily, this one will light up on May 28, along with two others just like it around the building, when Burberry launches its new Manhattan headquarters at 444 Madison Avenue, which is apparently one of only six grandfathered spots in New York where this is allowed. Naturally the christening will be followed by a party, which Christopher Bailey and CEO Angela Ahrendts will fly in for...

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Royal Yell

We received this email from the Royal College of Art in London with a reminder that their graduation shows on June 10 are open to the public and made possible through ticket sales only. What, you thought the next Chris Bailey worked for free? Well, he/she probably does, but only for the next few minutes. Besides, a ticket gets you champagne and canapés—not bad for only a few £...


The Royal College of Art (RCA) Fashion course will be hosting its annual graduate fashion shows to the public on 10 June and to press and trade on 11 June 2009.

The 36 MA students, in menswear, womenswear, footwear and accessories will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow alumni such as Ossie Clark, Philip Treacy and Christopher Bailey. More recent graduates who are making an impact on the fashion world include Erdem, Holly Fulton, milliners Justin Smith and Soren Bach, and menswear designers Aitor Throup, James Long and Katie Eary.

In the spirit of designers such as Katharine Hamnett and Vivienne Westwood, several students this year are designing with a conscience, infusing social and political messages into their collections, from the wasteful nature of the fashion industry to the crisis in Zimbabwe. Many students are incorporating recycled or found materials in their work or ensure that fabric comes from Fairtrade sources.

Collaboration with industry is a major part of a student’s time at the RCA. The results of several projects will also be presented on the catwalk and in a static display at the show. Highlights include a partnership with Italian tailoring company Brioni who have asked menswear students to re-design the travel jacket; and a new project with Swarovski & Sophie Hallette will see fashion and jewellery students teaming up to create embellished garments using crystals and lace.

Shows take place at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2EU
Wednesday 10 June: 4pm (£12) and 7pm (£25)
Tickets must be purchased in advance by calling 020 7590 4566 or online

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Goyard Girl

Christopher Bailey may have been running late to the airport, but that didn't stop us from grabbing a pic of him with Julie Gilhart—not to mention Simon Doonan sporting his new monogrammed Goyard bags—at a Barneys party to celebrate Burberry menswear and Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick...

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