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London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week

The glitz and glamour that is London Fashion Week opened its doors this weekend, with designers showing off their spring/summer collections for 2014.

People have come from all over the world to feast their eyes on the latest creations to hit the catwalk after LFW opened on Friday, and will leave happily sated after last shows on Tuesday.

For those who don’t know, London Fashion Week is a biannual event held in February and September. Along with the New York, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks, LFW is considered one of the ‘Big Four’ and is organised by the British Fashion Council (BFC).

LFW allows new and established designers alike to show off their work, usually to a fashion A-list audience, with this season seeing 58 designers demonstrating their talents over 73 shows.

Tickets for LFW are usually only available for those higher ranking in the fashion industry, and celebrities, obviously. This season, BFC wanted to try something a little different – they devised ways of involving the general public in some parts of the fashion week.

At LFW’s opening speech on Friday, Council Chairman Natalie Massenet laid it out: “This season we have taken fashion week to the streets of London and rallied support from the whole capital by making London Fashion Week much more inclusive.”

For the first time, the BFC has included Oxford Street in its celebrations, as well as branching out into social media. Flags adorn Oxford Street, there is a photo booth hooked up to Facebook, live streams of catwalk shows, and some of the shops have arranged activities to get customers into the spirit. The customers were also able to buy tickets for an event after the main shows – London Fashion Weekend!

This is all in aid of changing how the fashion industry is viewed, to make it more user-friendly. They also hope to get more people interested in fashion as a career choice, to add to the 800,00 plus jobs that the industry already provides. By using the social media, BFC are able to reach out to a larger audience.

Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of BFC, explains: “Social media lets you share messages, get it out to broad audiences. It’s a great way to get an instant response, to find out what’s trending.”

Fashion is a massive contributor to our economy, providing about £21 billion a year – and the BFC hope that London Fashion Week will be able to make more than £100 million, just in orders.

And the BFC has certainly brought out the big guns this season, including fashion veterans Manolo Blahnik (CBE) and Dame Vivienne Westwood. Although making his debut hosting his spring/summer presentation, Blahnik is no stranger to London Fashion Week. For last season’s showcase in February, he created original artwork that was displayed throughout the week.

Other big names you had to expect to hear from: Paul Smith; Stella McCartney; Tom Ford, fashion designer and film director; and Julien Macdonald – who is going to become even more of a household name after her appears on this series’ Strictly Come Dancing. These are just a few names from the cluster of talented individuals gracing LFW this weekend.

Bringing fashion to the people, London Fashion Week could be rewriting the elitist nature of the industry. But would fashion be something to strive for if everyone was offered a taste?

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