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The smallest of Europe’s fashion showcases got a megaboost this season as British politicians, American magazine editors and a clutch of homegrown brands —including Burberry—gathered to fete 25 years of London Fashion Week.
This story first appeared in the November 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
London Mayor Boris Johnson started the silver anniversary celebrations, happily posing for a photo with Erin O’Connor and praising the industry. “It’s helping to lead the city out of recession,” he said in the courtyard of the neoclassical Somerset House, the week’s new official venue.
Later that day, Britain’s first lady, Sarah Brown, picked up the celebratory torch, hosting a party at the prime minister’s residence at Number 10 Downing Street with guests including Christopher Bailey, Gareth Pugh, Roksanda Ilincic, Stephen Jones, Osman Yousefzada and Clare Waight Keller. Matthew Williamson—who transferred his show to London from New York this season for the anniversary—couldn’t resist posing for a quickie photo in front of the PM’s famous front door, prompting one guest to speculate what Britain would be like with a designer in charge. “Well, it would certainly be a more colorful country,” said Joseph Velosa, Williamson’s business partner.
Burberry brought the buzzy week to a close, with a luxe collection filled with twisted and draped pastel fabrics—and an all-star front row including Emma Watson, Mario Testino, Gwyneth Paltrow, Liv Tyler, Victoria Beckham, Frieda Pinto, Dev Patel, Mary-Kate Olsen, David Walliams and Samantha Cameron. Watson, a freshman at Brown, swooped in for the night. “I promised myself I wasn’t going to travel during the term, but I really wanted to be here,” she said.