From Fashion Night Out to London Fashion Week, our city is more of a catwalk than ever. London Fashion Week is in full-swing for another day and a half, finishing tomorrow evening, Wednesday 22nd September. From the first show (Paul Costelloe) to the last (Ozwald Boateng) to London Fashion Weekend (from Thursday night), this is London's turn to assert and validate its prestigious place on the fashion map. One of the four ultimate catwalk destinations (alongside Paris, Milan and NYC), London is much-admired for showcasing new design talent and refusing to play it safe. You go to Paris for couture and Milan for big, powerhouse (mostly Italian) labels. And you go to New York for luxe fabrics but not, normally, ground-breaking designs; that's where London comes in. Certainly, there are similarities between shows. In recessionary times, designers aim to inspire but they also need to sell their collections, whether showing via the 'Big Four' or less prominent shows such as Chicago, Amsterdam or Singapore. They also desperately want to attract the most influential press (remember the Wintour incident in Milan?), buyers, visitors and, now, bloggers. And, not to forget, they're all searching for the "Next Big Thing". Nonetheless (and particularly as a Londoner) you can't help but delight in the diversity, eccentricity and artistic vision of LFW's designers. Particularly when so many are 'home-grown'. London definitely has a fashion-vibe of it's own.
1+2) Giles Deacon.
3+4) Christopher Kane & Holly Fulton.
In case you're wondering, you don't have to be a member of the press or a buyer to experience LFW. You can enter as a 'visitor' and access the designer exhibitions, off-catwalk. Here are some more 'Did you know?' fashion week facts:
- LFW generates orders in the region of £100m!
- The event contributes £20m to London's economy in terms of direct spend.
- Visitors arrive for their fashion-fix from over 25 countries, including the US, France, Italy, Russia, Middle East, China and UAE.
- There are approx. 50 catwalk shows on the official schedule and a further 45+ shows off-schedule.
- The exhibition, running alongside the catwalks, showcases 170+ designers each season.
- In 1993, the British Fashion Council launched 'New Generation' (NewGen), to support emerging designers in seeking investment, a media profile and orders. Important for that innovative London 'fashion-vibe'...