Mayor Boris Johnson kicked off London Fashion Week Friday with a typically British dose of self-deprecation – and a cheeky swipe at the French. During the opening ceremony at Somerset House on the Strand – the official venue for shows and exhibitions – Johnson posed next to the statuesque Erin O’Connor, who was wearing a mile-high Stephen Jones millinery creation. “If I was Nicolas Sarkozy of France I would refuse to be pictured with people so glamorous and so tall,” he said, poking fun at the diminutive French president. “This is incontestably one of the most intimidating audiences I’ve been in front of.” Johnson also sang the praises of London Fashion Week, which marks its 25th anniversary this year. “It is an embodiment of London’s entrepreneurial spirit. It’s helping to lead the city out of recession,” he said. Following the ceremony, Johnson took up a front-row seat at the Caroline Charles show, and proudly held up a copy of the September issue of British Elle – with his very own image on the cover – for the eager pack of photographers. London Fashion Week runs through Wednesday.