London Fashion Week Open For Business
Now in its 66th edition LFW has grown from Paris and Milan’s poorer cousin to an established Fashion Week in its own right. This season the BFC’s on-schedule events will feature over 85 catwalk shows and presentations and this number will almost be doubled by the various off-schedule events and shows taking place at various venues around London including the renowned Fashion Scout at Freemasons’ Hall.
This season the event promises an eclectic mix of up and coming one’s to watch alongside established brands that are known across the globe such as CHALAYAN, ERDEM, Margaret Howell, Pringle of Scotland, Roksanda, Roland Mouret and OSMAN. And let’s not forget the facts and figures, according to Mintel, 2016, the UK amassed £27billion worth of womenswear (RTW) sales 2015. This figure is predicted to grow 23% by 2020 to £32billion. Clearly fashion is not as frivolous as it seems. This year Mintel also reports on a rise of young female Millennials, now 48%, being interested in retailers and brands using more eco-friendly fabrics. Surely it’s time that the issue of sustainable and eco-friendly fabrics should be enforced as an industry standard?
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive, British Fashion Council opened the proceedings first thing this morning, she said:
“London Fashion Week’s global reputation for creativity, innovation and business is what has seen both the week and British businesses go from strength to strength over the past 10 years. Our industry is worth £28bn to the British economy and employs 880,000 people. Over the next 5 days we welcome designers, media, retailers, stylists, photographers, casting directors and many more creative, talented people from 70 different countries to London this week.”
On concerns over Brexit she added:
“Our industry, our businesses, our creatives, our talent are international, literally in citizenship, but also in outlook. London is the most diverse, multicultural and open City in the world and we fiercely want to protect that reputation. The Brexit agenda remains the same – TALENT – we need to welcome and support talent in the UK. Our education system needs to support creativity and home grown talents, but the education agenda seems to not support this. We need to support international talent to come to the UK and study here or we will become very parochial in our views and less diverse in our outlook. We need to ensure that talent can travel here for events like London Fashion Week and support the work of the Creative Industries Federation in their work around Creative Visas.
“Our businesses are asking for Tariff Free access to the EU and frictionless borders as well as support of opportunities to build close cultural and economically beneficial partnerships with other countries. As an industry we continue to prepare information, case studies and insight to inform Government; meanwhile championing that as an industry, we are as international in outlook and community as we were before the referendum last year.”
New to the schedule this time is Emporio Armani who will show to coincide with the re-launch of their London flagship, alongside Tommy Hilfiger who will debut their latest TOMMYNOW see-now buy-now collection to an audience of trade and consumers and British brand Ralph & Russo who will debut on the catwalk. Other brands joining the schedule include Nicopanda and Dr. Pam Hogg alongside the relaunched Fiorucci on the events schedule.Burberry will present their new collection on Saturday as well as Fashion East, Gareth Pugh, House of Holland, J.W. Anderson, Ports 1961 and Simone Rocha.
The pioneering emerging womenswear talent showing under the BFC’s NEWGEN initiative this season are Halpern, Marta Jakubowski, Molly Goddard, Paula Knorr, Richard Malone and Sadie Williams. Mother of Pearl and palmer//harding, joint recipients of this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, will show on Saturday and Tuesday respectively. Not forgetting to mention the 150designers showcasing in the Designer Showrooms at The Store Studios, 180 Strand, taking over more wings of the building than ever before.
Meanwhile, over at Fashion Scout, the platform for emerging talent, will be in full swing with over 40 designers showcasing their designs in various innovative ways and the FashionCapital team will be there reporting on all the action as it happens!
Images: Caroline Rush CBE & Justine Simons OBE open London Fashion Week and a catwalk image from the Ashley Isham AW17 show by Chris Daw