Of the four fashion capitals, London is also perhaps best known for being home to some of the industry’s coolest and most avant-garde creatives like the late Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, and JW Anderson. And of course, with some of the best fashion schools in the world, the city has a knack for discovering exciting young designers. Earlier this year, London College of Fashion graduate Harikrishnan broke the internet with his inflatable latex balloon pants. Only a year after dropping out of Central Saint Martins, Mowalola Ogunlesi made her Fashion Week debut in 2019 before being scouted by Kanye West to lead the Yeezy Gap design team. With that calibre of talent on the roster, it goes without saying that the London shows are always pretty iconic. And luckily for us, it looks like we might be seeing the runway this year after all.
Earlier this week, the British Fashion Council announced the preliminary lineup for the upcoming London Fashion Week in September, set to take place from the 17th to 22nd. In light of current events, the event will continue to pivot away from traditions. Historically, LFW is hosted quarterly and split into men’s and women’s weeks each season, but the forthcoming affair is inviting both womenswear and menswear designers to join a gender-neutral showcase for the second time this year. Like the preceding Fashion Weeks in Copenhagen and New York, participating designers will choose between physical, digital or hybrid presentations. Those who have chosen to go ahead with physical shows will adhere to the government’s strict social distancing guidelines. The event will also be complemented by digital supporting media, which will be available to both consumers and buyers globally.
JW Anderson is set to present a digital showcase. The designer has already proven he’s an expert with digital media if his men’s spring 2021 show is anything to go by—through a collaboration with HoloMe, Anderson presented his new collection through a new augmented reality app. Using a green screen, live feeds of models were projected to fashion buyers, offering viewers the option to scale them from mini to lifesize with just a pinch of their fingers. Ahead of their upcoming digital showcase, we’re sure Anderson will have some surprises up his sleeve. One of the biggest names in the British fashion scene, Burberry, has also planned to present a digital-only livestream, ‘Burberry in Nature’. In a press release, the brand shares "Now more than ever, we have to reimagine, to change,” The show is set to take place outdoors and the live presentation will be streamed for all to watch digitally. In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence in the heritage British fashion house, in line with fashion’s current affinity with 90s nostalgia. The trademark check is back stronger than ever, and we can’t see what the next collection will hold. Bethany Williams is one of the few designers who have opted to go ahead with a physical showcase, which she will be presenting in the form of an ‘exhibition’. The menswear designer founded her label only a mere three years ago but has become a respected name in the industry due to her commitment to promoting social change. Williams uses upcycled materials to create 100% recycled garments, which are rich in texture and bold in colour. We are thoroughly convinced that her forward-thinking approach is the future of British fashion and we are eagerly anticipating to see what she has in store for us.
Earlier this year, the London Fashion Week showcase took place in a purely digital format. That meant no live runway shows, a lack of highly anticipated street style snaps, waving goodbye to the front rows and tuning in online instead. Brands were challenged to look for new ways to tell their stories, using digital content such as short films, interviews, podcasts and digital showrooms. As much as we enjoyed situating ourselves in the front rows via our living room sofas, we are certainly looking forward to seeing what a hybrid London Fashion Week will look like.