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15-09-2016   


We witnessed Alexander Wang shock audiences with his street influenced Adidas Originals collaboration, Gigi Hadid transform New York’s South street seaport into a Tommy Hilfiger branded carnival and DKNY dominate the catwalk with their star-studded supermodel squad that included 19-year-old GQ model of the year Bella Hadid (sister of Gigi), and there’s still 3 whole days to go.

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From left to right: NYFW – DKNY, Alexander Wang and Tommy Hilfiger

Street inspired sports-luxe fashion that showcased everything the urban neighbourhoods of the Bronx are all about, and an indication as to where the future of fashion is heading.

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LFW poster at Westfield gives the event a consumer angle (Image courtesy of LFW / BFC)

This season the majority of British designers are expected to switch from the more classic, tailored pieces we are accustomed to from previous fashion shows, to more ready-to wear, experimental fashion, taking inspiration from London Collections: Men’s success this past June.

What tells London apart from other fashion capitals is our constant focus and determination to promote and nurture upcoming brands and find new talent to drive the apparel sector forward. The British Industry contributes £28 billion to the U.K economy and employs upwards of 800,000 people with those figures consistently rising, in spite of the repercussions Brexit pose.

The platform for young creatives has risen with designers much more confident to showcase their collections, adding an inescapable flow of variety and creativity to an already highly competitive industry. Molly Goddard (17/09.16 – 19:00) and Simone Rocha (17/09/16 – 18:00) are just two examples of highly rated creatives who look to take advantage, challenging household names such as Christopher Kane (19/09/16 – 15:00), House Of Holland (17/09/16 – 15:00) and J.W Anderson (17/09/16 – 16:00) who himself took the same path in achieving stardom, and is now currently celebrating his 10th year in the industry (Congrats).

Smaller brands are more advanced, tech-savvy and have the capability to understand the younger consumer market, catering to different customers and lifestyles. In response to this, established brands such as Mary Katrantzou (18/09/16 – 12:00), Mm6 Maison Margiela (18/09/2016 – 18:30) and Gareth Pugh (17/09/16 – 20:00) look to develop their social media presence and interaction with their own consumers in order to maintain their relationships, aware that failure to recognise the current market needs could lead to falling behind the pack in this-ever challenging industry.

Even classic brands such as Burberry (19/09/16 – 19:30) have conformed to society and gone against their brand ethos and beliefs by making their collection pieces inclusive rather than exclusive, pushing the message that its forthcoming presentation at LFW will be about the customer. The menswear and womenswear lines will be shown at the same time, a big break with tradition, and its new season clothes will be merchandised immediately after the catwalk. This decision has sparked a lot of debate and Andrew Groves, course director of Fashion Design at the University of Westminster, is one person who is not convinced by talk of accessibility and feels Burberry have made an irrevocable mistake with its see now, buy-now model and could regret this decision later down the line. The problem that brands like Burberry face is that the high street has been able to copy high fashion and get products to market quickly. But I don’t think that’s the issue. What’s missing in fashion is the magic and intrigue and excitement – that’s what they should be looking at.”

Amassing more followers than previous seasons with 83 designers showcasing their latest offerings all over London, starting with this year’s winner of the highly coveted International Woolmark Prize Teatum Jones (no pressure there!), one thing is for sure, the 64th edition of London’s bi-annual fashion carnival is an event not to be missed.                                                                               

BY NADIM AHMED

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