This season, London’s old guard is coming home: Matthew Williamson, Luella Bartley and Stella McCartney are all returning with a string of shows, parties and openings. Williamson is switching from New York to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his company with a show, party and exhibition at London’s Design Museum; Bartley will show in London again to mark the opening of her first stand-alone store in Mayfair, and McCartney will close London Fashion Week, which runs from Sept. 15 to 20, with a show of her collection for Adidas.
But they’re not the only foreign transfers this season. Charles Anastase, who previously has shown in Paris, will move to London Fashion Week, as will Armand Basi, the Spanish label now designed by Markus Lupfer. Meanwhile, first-timers include Philip Colbert and Richard Ascott, who design under the Rodnik label; Gavin Douglas, winner of last year’s Fashion Fringe competition, and knitwear designer Clare Tough.
Julie Verhoeven, who made her London Fashion Week debut in 2002 with the ill-fated Gibo collection, is back, too—but not on the runways. Instead, she’s unveiling a capsule clothing and accessories collection for Mulberry, which includes a chiffon dress, a quilted shopper, a cotton T-shirt, a scarf and a ring-pull key chain. Verhoeven will be selling the collection through a pop-up store on Westbourne Grove that she’s painted and decorated herself.
In other off-the-runway news, there will be a tribute to Isabella Blow, who died May 6, on Sept. 18 at noon after the Paul Smith show. The venue had not been announced at press time. That night, Alexandra Shulman, John Galliano and Daphne Guinness will host a gala to mark the opening of “The Golden Age of Couture” at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which runs until Jan. 6. In the East End, the launch party of BoomBox Book—a book of photos and essays celebrating the monthly club night in Hoxton Square—will kick off the week and will be followed the next night by Williamson’s anniversary party at a location yet to be announced.
GET IT: A Floris bespoke fragrance. After 40 years, Floris has relaunched its bespoke perfume service at its London flagship. The new perfumer, Shelagh Foyle, former president of the British Society of Perfumers, works with scents including lime blossom, white rose, china rose and Edwardian bouquet—a mix of hyacinth, bergamot and jasmine. Full bespoke fragrances cost about $5,000, while demi-bespoke ones, made from existing scents, cost $189. Floris, 89 Jermyn Street, SW1Y 6JH, +44.20.7930.2885.
DO IT: Have the French, black-legged roast chicken at La Petite Maison, the new French restaurant behind Claridge’s. An offshoot of its more famous, eponymous sister in Nice, France, La Petite Maison has London abuzz with its crispy, buttery bird, not to mention the sweet onion and anchovy tart, deep-fried zucchini flowers and salade niçoise. La Petite Maison, 54 Brooks Mews, W1K 4EG; +44.20.7495.4774.