Not historically known for its cutting edge fashion, London is trying to muscle in on the Big 3 cities in the fashion world - Paris, Milan and New York - and bring more attention to its growing fashion week.
Global brands such as Burberry and hot designer names like Savile Row's Ozwald Boateng give some glamour to a week where budding fashionistas can still get close-up seats to see up-and-coming designers. And for the eco-friendly look, organizers stressed sustainable fashion, including the first-ever sustainable catwalk show.
Posted 8 Oct 2010
Savile Row in London is synonymous with the classic English elegance of the tailor-made suit. Ozwald Boateng has shaken up the traditional scene there with his shop and designs that incorporate vibrant colors and different cuts of the quintessential English suit. Before his show he showed a preview of the movie his working on "A Man's Life," about his early life and his experiences in the fashion industry.
One of the UK's most popular designers, Jasper Conran was an early entrant to London Fashion Week, having started his own label at 19. He says his clothes have "timeless, contemporary British style" and told LFW that "colors, summer and easy elegance" inspired the latest collection.
While many designers featured on the marquee catwalks, those that could get on the official program had some innovative ways to showcase their wares. This shoe company set up an impromptu runway show right next to the entrance of Somerset House, the headquarters of London Fashion Week.
Several venues hosted runway shows during the week, including this former train terminal at London's Waterloo station. The platform was the first one to take passengers to the Eurostar, which runs to Paris and Brussels. Since those trains now depart from St. Pancras station in North London, this area south of the Thames is now a rentable venue for parties and other fashionable events.
After-show parties were thrown around the city, but official invitations to some of the bigger events were hard to come by. Men's fashion designer Ozwald Boateng's spring/summer show was held at the Odeon theater in London's famous Leicester Square and while some celebs made the scene riding in limos right up to the doors, a large amount of anxious would-be crashers were turned away.
New media took hold at this year's fashion week. Many bloggers, Tweeters and other digital fashion followers stopped other guests outside the shows to ask for a picture and to describe what designer they were wearing. Some photographed only people's bags or shoes, while others looked for global representation of fashion from different nations.
Across five days, buyers, designers and journalist rely on a caffeine fix to get them to see as many designs as possible. With 65 catwalk shows and more than a dozen live presentations scattered across London, a map and a pair of comfortable shoes were as necessary as pen and paper.
At the heart of London’s fashion and ethically-conscious industry is Estethica – an exhibition of ethical fashion designers that was started four years ago. Estethica began as a trade show during London Fashion Week of ethically conscious designers featuring 13 lines. It now features 37. All the designers showcasing had to adhere to at least one of three principles of fair-trade and ethical practices, organic and recycled materials and ethical excellence and design credentials.
If you can't walk the catwalk you can at least come out of London Fashion Week looking like a runway regular. In addition to being able to buy boutique clothes, attendees (even those without designer show tickets) can get hair and makeup done by fashion professionals.
The menswear day ended the London Fashion Week festivities. Ozwald Boateng's gala event attracted a large amount of press and media attention. All of the dozens of models Boateng used in his show joined on the state for the final photo call.