In the countdown to Burberry’s Beijing celebration the event was branded as Burberry’s biggest ever event and last night the 155 year old company brand didn’t disappoint. Beginning with an opening reception at the Beijing Flagship Store Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts and Chief Creative Director Christopher Bailey entertained fashion industry guests including property developers, Burberry global executives along with Chinese and international media.
The event then shifted to the Beijing TV headquarters, which were taken over by Burberry for the night. Upon entering the building (which was branded in Burberry’s iconic check pattern for the evening) guests passed through a series of London themed tunnels before entering into a main hall with Burberry check branded décor.
The notorious Beijing traffic added to the tension and delayed the show which couldn’t start before the arrival of celebrities and VIP guests such as Hong Kong actress Maggie Cheung, Vogue China Chief Editor Angelica Cheung and Grant Pearce Editorial Director GQ Asia Pacific. When all was ready a curtain was raised, and attendees were immersed in a 360 video display of Burberry and British themed images including trench coats, umbrellas, rain and puddles all tuned to a British music anthem. A video fashion show then started with 3D constructed male models appearing out of doorways and walking along beams of light up and down the walls and across the ceiling in a mesmerizing display lasting 20 minutes.
The scene calmed down and changed to what most thought was a ‘normal’ fashion show with real life models walking back and forth across the stage while being projected onto the massive walls of the complex. The lines between the real and digital worlds then suddenly collided as models that appeared to be real disintegrated into thin air, miraculously changed outfits in mid strut and reduplicated themselves in a holographic display that awed the crowd. Following the fashion show British rock group Keane performed live for close to an hour to the delight of Chinese fans.
In China where luxury brand fashion shows and industry events are a dime a dozen these days Burberry certainly set a benchmark on what can be achieved through willingness to take risks, be bold and have a large budget.
For video excerpts from the show visit The Maosuit’s Youtube Page