When your Instagram explore page starts filling up with beautiful people getting out of black cabs with serious attitude, it’s probably London Fashion Week.
Yet this bi-annual event is still a mystery to the majority of us. What happens at fashion week, why is it here (again) and, crucially, who’s going to be there?
Fashion weeks are a chance for designers to showcase their collections before they hit the stores next season. Held all over the world, they’re primarily industry events, so the main people who attend are fashion editors, retail buyers, designers, of course – and the models and celebs who wear their clothes.
But with Brexit impacting the homegrown fashion industry, a range of emerging designers taking centre stage and some big-name international creatives returning to their roots in London, this season is worth watching. Here’s what you need to know.
This London Fashion Week Is Fur Free
After taking a survey of all fashion designers ready to debut their new collections, the British Fashion Council announced that “no animal fur will be used” at this year’s event, which runs from 14 to 18 September.
Victoria Beckham Is Bringing It Home
For her 10-year anniversary, Victoria Beckham is showcasing her self-named brand in London for the first time. After watching from afar as she curated and showcased her luxury design house on the doorsteps of New York Fashion Week, we’re nothing short of thrilled the Spice Girl is making excellent British design local again.
Alexa Chung Is Having Her Own Show
TV presenter turned creative talent and fashion designer, Alexa Chung is making debuting her own label in London this year. Having clocked in the hours on the front row and collaborated with stores such as Maje, Superga and Marks & Spencer, Chung is more than ready to send her designs down the runway.
The pieces have been inspired by Chung’s own dress sense – a collection she wants to be worn from day to night, from business to pleasure, but always with a feeling that it’s about “great clothes for great women”.
What Those Leading Fashion Week Really Think About Brexit
Fashion as a whole runs on international trade and manufacturing, a global press and free movement of talent to keep the show on the road, so it’s no surprise 90% of the fashion industry voted remain in the EU referendum.
As fashion designers and workers return to their own countries and fashion labels set up shop elsewhere, the industry is predicting fragility after Brexit.
With the countdown on, this season is throwing up all sorts of challenges to designers, from planning their orders with factories to pricing clothes for the international market amid fluctuating exchange rates.
And there’s an even bigger question for the UK: where will the next generation of talent come from?
“Making sure young people from all around the world have access to creative education and skills to protect our own home-grown talent pipeline is a post-Brexit priority,” says Stephanie Phair, chair of the British Fashion Council. ”It’s extremely important that we remain open and accessible to international talent.”
The T-Shirt You Need To Be Wearing
To showcase its dismay for Brexit, the fashion industry is expressing their politics where it counts. Katharine Hamnett has sold thousands of “Cancel Brexit” T-Shirts, bringing out a new version, “Fashion Hates Brexit”. We expect to see T-shirts dotted around the shows at London Fashion Week.
The 8 Key Shows To Look Out For
Though London Fashion Week is an invite-only event, you can usually catch the shows on the fashion brand’s Instagram or Faceboo, with live streaming common across the week. Here are the shows we’ve got our eyes on over the coming days (all timings BST):
Saturday 15 September
Alexa Chung, 11:00.
Victoria Beckham, 9:30/10:30.
Christopher Kane, 01:00.
Zandra Rhodes, 14:30-16:30.