Sunday, February 16, 2014

London Fashion Week Arrives

London Fashion Week  has arrived - a five-day extravaganza known for producing some of the world's most exciting and dynamic fashion talents. Over recent seasons - and especially under the watchful eye of fashion powerhouse Natalie Massenet - the city's reputation has slowly changed from being home to creative, but often commercially unsavvy, designers, becoming a place that nurtures emerging talents and puts them on a global stage. The industry is now worth an impressive £26 billion to the British economy.

Two of the season's big tickets will be Christopher Kane and JW Anderson, both of which have received investment from luxury conglomerates LVMH and Kering respectively. Burberry and Tom Ford will once again draw big crowds, as two of London's best-known names. Mulberry has already got the fashion press talking with its Sunday photo call, at which campaign star Cara Delevingne will unveil a "creative project", with whispers she could be the latest star to have a bag named after her. With no creative director yet appointed at the helm, the label will not hold a catwalk show this season - instead hosting an intimate dinner for friends of the brand.

We look forward to seeing what the city's creative mainstays - Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Ilincic and Henry Holland - have in store, a group who have progressed from being the new generation to lucrative businesses, embracing new chapters in their careers - with many opening standalone shops in the coming months. We'll also be keeping a firm eye on the Peter Pilotto catwalk, this year's BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner.

New to the schedule this season are Mother of Pearl, Whistles, Joseph and Marks & Spencer - the latter of which will unveil its autumn/winter 2014 Best of British collection with a series of presentations at Somerset House on Monday. Joseph celebrates the 25th anniversary of its famed Fulham Road store this season, launching a capsule collection created by labels including Giles, Balmain and Jonathan Saunders.

So which new names to take note of? Thomas Tait's complex simplicity is still causing a stir in fashion circles, while Simone Rocha - who won Best Emerging Womenswear Designer at the 2014 British Fashion Awards - is expected to impress again with her strong, contemporary take on romance. For eveningwear, we'll look to Barbara Casasola - whose floor-length dresses are truly lessons in modern elegance.

If London Fashion Week has already whet your shopping appetite, stop by at´s pop-up store at 29 Duke Street, which will be selling pieces donated by fashion editors to raise money for charity.

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