CONSUMER AFFAIRS: London Fashion Week wrapped on Tuesday night, and now it’s time to shop. The British Fashion Council’s consumer-centric showcase, London Fashion Weekend is taking place at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea, with runway shows, designer talks, shopping galleries and trend presentations.
Shoppers can also buy from 150 London brands, including Fyodor Golan, J. JS Lee, Linda Farrow, Mawi, Paper London, Pringle of Scotland and Osman at the twice-yearly, four-day consumer event.
Designers including Emilia Wickstead, Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou and Temperley London are all staging runway shows. Each designer gets his or her own day, with the runway show repeated two to four times.
The four-day event, which wraps on Sunday, has so far drawn a range of attendees. Lexi Snoole, a 19-year-old fashion design student from the University of the Creative Arts, purchased tickets and attended for the first time with her friends Rhian Langford and Jasmine Osborn.
“The vibe is just so upbeat and friendly,” said Snoole. “You can see loads of different things that you would never find in regular shops. You know you will find something unique and amazing. I think it’s really good. No matter if your style is vintage or hard-core, you can find it here.”
“It’s so diverse as well,” Langford said. “There are fur pieces and black clothes downstairs and up here it’s all colorful.” Langford, an 18-year-old fashion design student from Nottingham Trent University, purchased a Fyodor Golan dress and shirt. “That’s why I came here. I bought one of their dresses.”
Langford and Osborn immediately donned their purchases on Friday morning. Langford bought a long seafoam green and pink pleated skirt from Too Cool for School, while Osborn scooped up a black J.Lindeberg bomber jacket.
The trio said they would definitely attend again. “I love it,” said Langford. “It’s amazing.”
Kim Preece, 21, who works in sales for Sunglass Hut, won tickets to the event and brought a friend. “I think it’s amazing,” she said. “It’s quite exciting. It’s been nice, no pushing or shoving. I didn’t even know what today was going to be like. To be able to wander around and look at the clothes and try them on and be able to buy them — I think that’s a really cool idea.” Preece purchased a pair of beige suede plimsolls from Seven Boot Lane. “I couldn’t resist,” said Preece. “It’s a new independent brand from Italy apparently and handmade.”
Vicky Lawson, a 24-year-old co-head of talent acquisition at Stylezz, said it was her first time attending the event, and noted that the layout was easy to navigate. “It’s quite busy in here, but you can move around and get good deals as well,” said Lawson. “There is such a good mix of designers from high-end to low-end and ones you haven’t heard of. It was good. I bought some makeup from Maybelline and that’s about it. I nearly bought an expensive jacket but I thought the better of it.” Lawson said she planned to attend a talk with the London-based shoe and accessories designer Charlotte Olympia. “I’ve heard she’s really interesting,” said Lawson. “I am looking forward to listening to her talk.”
Charlotte Olympia Dellal took part in a talk moderated by Martha Ward. “It’s my first time here at London Fashion Weekend, so it was good, it wasn’t scary,” Dellal told WWD. “I like speaking to an audience that isn’t necessarily within the industry, it’s different, you kind of just chat. Rather than giving a speech, it’s just a conversation and you’re there with people who have come to see you to talk, so it was good. I think it’s a great thing this London Fashion Weekend. It’s good to give people the opportunity to experience things like this that are otherwise offered to the industry. It’s great to give an insight into the industry, it’s not just about the fashion show, or hearing designers speak. You can do shopping downstairs as well.”
Dellal showed her first runway show during London Fashion Week. “I like to design collections with inspiration and stories, so to speak, rather than just a form inspiration, it’s inspired by a mood, a place, feelings and everything. So it was just nice to portray it on a catwalk and have the shoes come to life and literally be ‘walked’ as they should be. I’m trying to find a way to show accessories on a classic catwalk because that’s always what I wanted to do, I wanted it to be a traditional catwalk whereby you just look at the accessories, which is why everything was black. And normally I’m quite colorful, but it was just about the accessories being seen in a normal environment, and not in an installation spectacle thing. It was about seeing them walk and worn in classic staple pieces of clothing.”