- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
On September 13, press, buyers and influencers will descend on London for the bi-annual five-day jam-packed London Fashion Week featuring 66 brands, 74 stores and 170 events as part of the official British Fashion Council schedule that has turned into a city-wide celebration, including public catwalk shows, emerging designer presentations, store launches, and exhibitions.
London Fashion Week will feature fashion editor favourites Molly Goddard, Christopher Kane and JW Anderson presenting their latest collections, as well as Riccardo Tisci’s third season for Burberry, alongside Victoria Beckham, Ashish, Temperley London, and Rixo. There are also a number of brands making their LFW on-schedule debut including Korean brand YCH, tailoring brand Eftychia, Jeremy Scott-alumni Bobby Abley is making the move from London Fashion Week: Men’s and Julien Macdonald will be presenting his new brand Julien x Gabriela.
There are however some notable absences this season, Peter Pilotto has moved his show to Milan, Mary Katrantzou is heading to Athens in October, while Ashley Williams is skipping this season, and Grace Wales Bonner is opting for private appointments, and Bethany Williams decided to show during menswear week in June.
London Fashion Week opens its doors to the public
For the first time, London Fashion Week will be hosting public-facing catwalk shows from AlexaChung, House of Holland and Self-Portrait, on September 14 and 15, where fashion fans can purchase tickets to the “immersive” experience that includes creative installations, industry-led talk panels, and the newly relaunched Designer Exhibition. Standard tickets are priced at 135 pounds and Front Row tickets at 245 pounds.
Other consumer-focused events include Anya Hindmarch’s immersive postbox maze inside Brewer Street Car Park, inspired by the patterns within M. C. Escher’s Metamorphosis III mural, designed fifty years ago for The Hague Post Office, while Browns will celebrate the launch of Peggy Gou’s new brand Kirin with an in-store appearance from the designer, and Burberry’s Thomas’s Cafe will launch a special London Fashion Week breakfast comprising of a selection of tapas-style dishes including French toast with orange compote, cardamom and bay curd as well as secret Smokehouse salmon, scrambled eggs and buckwheat blinis.
Huntsman will celebrate their centenary on Savile Row with the largest and most comprehensive tie collection, featuring over 185 exclusive designs sourced from seven separate suppliers, while John Lewis will host a series of catwalk shows, AW19 style trend talks and pop-up beauty partnerships in its White City Westfield shop, and MatchesFashion will host a series of events at their Mayfair Townhouse, 5 Carlos Place, including an installation to celebrate Richard Quinn’s debut collection for Moncler.
Mulberry will launch its new Iris bag family with a series of free workshops led by craftspeople from Mulberry’s Somerset factory. Guests will be able to create and take home a bespoke leather bracelet made with offcuts from the Iris bag.
Julien x Gabriela
Julien Macdonald is teaming up with “dear friend and muse” Gabriela Gonzalez for the debut of their Julien x Gabriela couture brand. No details have been shared about the new collection, just that it will be high-end glamour, as the brand made its debut on the red carpet during Cannes in May.
In an Instagram post, Gonzalez said: “The very first Julien x Gabriela runway it’s about to be presented in a few days during the London Fashion Week. It’s a privilege and honour to be presenting this new brand by the hand of my mentor Julien Macdonald and to be able to share it with all of you who have continuously shared this journey with us and given so much love.”
Julien Macdonald presents Julien x Gabriela will hit the catwalk on September 16.
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Things are getting exciting in the studio. Save the date for the 16th of September where I will be showcasing my new collection, @JulienxGabriela with my good friend the amazing @gabrielagonzalezofficial at @londonfashionweek. #julienmacdonald #julienxgabriela #LondonFashionWeek.
Focus on sustainability
For the very first time, the United Nations will bring the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also known as The Global Goals to London Fashion Week. The Goals are a universal route map and call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that every global citizen enjoys peace and prosperity by 2030. The #TogetherBand tapestry installation will be part of the Positive Fashion Exhibition, to introduce the London Fashion Week audience to the goals.
The British Fashion Council is also calling on the industry to embrace ‘positive fashion’ with its new curated designer exhibition designed for spring/summer 2020 to celebrate industry best practice and encourage future business decisions to create positive change. Positive Fashion is led by three key pillars: Sustainability, Equality and Diversity, Craftsmanship and Community, and each brand showcasing in the Designer Exhibition answers to one or more of those pillars, added the BFC.
Brands taking part includes upcycling brand Ancuta Sarca, Azura Lovisa, which champions sustainable fabrics and slow fashion, designer Duran Lantink, who approaches fashion with a DIY attitude, upcycling discarded luxury garments and deadstock to produce his collections, and Felder Felder will showcase a selection of their ‘Ecouture’ designs made from natural fabrics, such as pineapples, wild rubber from the Amazonian Rain Forest and vegan silk.
Other highlights will include swimwear brand Stay Wild Swim made from regenerated ocean plastic in body-positive styles, using sustainable materials created from a smart techno-fabric, Econyl, while Paolo Carzana, previous British Fashion Council scholar will present his latest work 'The Another World Project,’ working with the leftover materials from his BA collection to create a series of healing dolls made up of sustainable materials including pineapple leather, bamboo silk and second-hand bed sheets, which have been over-dyed in natural homemade pigments.
In addition, Pause Conscious, the global movement that showcases sustainable fashion around the world, is coming to London for its ninth edition during London Fashion Week. The pop-up featuring 80 sustainable designers, will combine shopping with art, live performances, music, and educational experiences. The event will take place at Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden for 10-days, from September 13 to 22.
Victoria Beckham launches beauty brand
Victoria Beckham returns to the London Fashion Week schedule for her third consecutive season, but the fashion designer is also launching her new beauty brand, Victoria Beckham Beauty, which she is calling a “unique synergy between the worlds of beauty and fashion” on September 14.
Announced in February, the beauty brand is launching for autumn/winter 2019 and Beckham has dropped hints that the affordable “clean beauty” collection will be cruelty-free and inclusive for all skin tones, as well as offering make-up, skincare and a fragrance.
Beckham will showcase her SS20 ready-to-wear collection on September 15.
Emerging designers in the spotlight
London Fashion Week is renowned for supporting and nurturing emerging fashion talent and for spring/summer 2020 there are a number of designers to watch, including Fashion Scout’s Merit Award winner, London-based womenswear designer, Wen Pan. Now in her third season, Wen Pan fuses the “spirit of oriental recluses with romantic grunge aesthetics” by using raw fluidity and layers of textures. Before launching her namesake label, Pan work at numerous fashion houses including Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen, and Uma Wang, and now counts Opening Ceremony, YoungBritishDesigners, and Selfridges among her stockists.
Graduate Fashion Week will also be presenting for the first time, showcasing four of its brightest stars, Hannah Stote, Mariah Esa, Sally Mankee, and Janislav Solovjov, who champion sustainable fashion, as part of the British Fashion Council’s Positive Fashion initiative, while On|Off, now in its 17th year will introduce five emerging labels, Colin Horgan, Rose Danford-Phillips, JimmyPaul, Daniel Pascal Tanner, and Yan Dengyu in a collaborative catwalk show, and Fashion Scout will showcase four designers Gala Borovic, IA London, Studio Adaptive Skins and AV hailing from London, France, Serbia, and the Netherlands, as part of its ‘Ones to Watch’ initiative.
London Fashion Week will run from September 13 to 17.
Image: courtesy of British Fashion Council - Christopher Kane by Kris Mitchell