Backstage at Burberry RTW Spring 2018

MIRROR, MIRROR: Burberry has lifted the veil on some of Christopher Bailey’s inspirations for the September show, staging an exhibition of 20th-century British photographs that showcase the works of more than 30 social and documentary photographers including Brian Griffin and Roger Mayne. There are also works by the Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy.

Bailey said some of the photos in the retrospective have influenced him throughout his career and the exhibition aims to showcase how the images and their inherent British identity informed the design process of the September 2017 collection, presented on Saturday at Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell, London.

Bailey also stressed that the images on display represent a wide range of social classes. “The Pond,” by Dafydd Jones, features a shot of a woman falling into a garden pond during the Martin Betts Dance at Ascot, while Shirley Baker’s images feature scenes of sheep bombarding the cars of picnickers in the Pennines and Mancunian immigrant children in the Sixties.

“I knew I wanted to celebrate a certain strand of British photography that I have always loved — one which documents the many and varied tribes and clans and classes that make up this island of ours,” added the designer, who organized “Here We Are” with the help of photographer Alasdair McLellan and curator Lucy Kumara Moore.

McLellan said he had his eyes on certain photographers.

“I was very keen to get people like Tom Wood in there because he is the sort of photographer who is a bit different to everybody else. I wanted to include the British photographers who influenced me, almost as a thank you to them,” he said.

McLellan added that the Revelry Room at Old Sessions House is a must-see. “It seems the most complete. The U.K. is about class, and I think the Revelry Room has a lot to say about class.”