Every year, designers, celebrities, journalists, bloggers, fashionistas - and many other pretty people - descend in their droves upon London Fashion Week in Somerset House, backed by the British Fashion Council. With accompanying rooftop fashion parties, fashion film festivals and vintage fairs popping up all over the city, there's something for everyone.
It's not just any old trade show; it's a theatre where art and culture collide, where hairspray and heels are king, and where the vibrancy and glamour of our unique British style culture repeats itself, again and again, with post-modern twists on the simple handbag, dress or shoe.
London goes crazy for LFW in September, with high street trends soon following suit. There's something about this city's style that's unmistakeable: urban edge meets casual chic. And this time of year showcases that style perfectly, with its crisp and cosy elegance, warm coats, knitwear and layering a-plenty. We've already seen glimpses of in the show's line-up: classic autumn-winter shades like greys, browns and charcoals and day-to-night timeless pieces from Aminaka Wilmont, which are already finding their way into collections for urban essentials brands like Charli. Then there's Stella McCartney's high fashion take on Adidas, highlighting a classic example of how designer and high street can complement each other. I'm personally a bit excited to see eBay designer Holly Fulton's range of 70s art school rock hearts making their way onto our high street winter jumpers.
I guess that's one of the most exciting things about these fashion shows: that they directly inform trends, which are replicated almost everywhere and will be for years to come. Remember when the maxi dress first 'broke'? Or when 1960s mini skirts came back in fashion? Fashion finds a way of coming back, relentlessly, in slightly different ways.
And London is at the heart of it all. It's autumn in the city again, and a new season of excitement on the high street. You could never accuse Londoners of boring sameness. We have access to London street style at our fingertips - often at affordable prices - so there really is no excuse not to develop your personal style. And just look at the choice on offer: vintage furs, tailored back-to-work suits, three-quarter coats and knitted dresses. Combine that with something a little more urban, and you start to understand why London fashion is unrivalled in the world.
That's why this show is so important: we're all in its audience, waiting for the action - whether we realise it's influencing us or not. I just don't adhere to people saying they're not into fashion: as long as you wear clothes, you're a part of this city's fashion story. And while I can't guarantee you'll fall in love with everything that comes out of London Fashion Week, you'll certainly love something on the high street at some point this autumn. And if you're still not inspired? The next season is just around the corner.
London Fashion Week runs from Friday 13th September to Tuesday 17th September 2013.
Follow Natalie R Harris on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NatalieRHarris