(London) After New York, the fashion world met in London on Friday for five days of fashion shows, with some big names like the essential Burberry, but also many young designers who could make the fashion of tomorrow.
A year ago, London Fashion Week, which was set to make a comeback after the COVID-19 years, was overshadowed by the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, followed by ten days of national mourning . This year, more than 80 designers are presenting their spring/summer 2024 collections.
“We’re going to have five exciting days, full of creativity,” enthuses Caroline Rush, director of the British Fashion Council (BFC), the organizer of this event.
First show on the agenda, Friday morning, that of designer Paul Costelloe, the veteran of London fashion week, who was Princess Diana’s favorite couturier for a long time. The models paraded, wooden tennis rackets in hand, under the large glass roof of the Royal Horticultural Halls for this collection called “Il giardino” (the garden).
It’s an ode to the sweetness of life, “a quiet afternoon” in Ferrara, in northern Italy, explains the designer. We imagine the aristocracy on vacation in this collection marked by a certain nostalgia.
The models wear large headbands in their hair, broad-shouldered jackets over simple bikini tops, all in pastel tones. It’s chic, but casual. If they put on a knitted sweater, it’s to leave one shoulder bare. The boldest wear bow-shaped headbands at the top.
Thursday evening, as an introduction to this fashion week, Vogue magazine rolled out the red carpet for a number of British stars for a gala evening. Among the notable looks: Actress Sienna Miller showed off her pregnant belly in a Schiaparelli outfit.
Models Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss paraded during this evening in homage to British culture, as well as the four top models of the 1990s, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista.
Despite this glamorous touch, London is rather struggling in the fashion world. The pandemic, inflation which remains the highest in the G7 countries (6.8% in July) and also Brexit are not helping.
Paris fashion week remains the most prestigious, ahead of Milan and New York. The British capital lacks big names. As a symbol of this loss of influence: the very British Victoria Beckham has been presenting her collection in Paris since last year.
The government announced a £2 million (€2.3 million) fund on Wednesday to support young designers. This aid will go to the BFC’s NewGen program.
For thirty years, this initiative has supported the best young fashion designers and aims to launch the high-end global brands of tomorrow. Several big names in fashion have benefited from this program, including Alexander McQueen, who died in 2010.
The Design Museum in London is also presenting an exhibition from Saturday celebrating these young NewGen talents, who have brought so much energy to fashion. “Rebel: 30 years of London fashion” shows around 100 looks, some of which have gone down in pop culture history.
This year, around twenty creators are benefiting from the NewGen program. Most are just out of school, but have already managed to dress some of the biggest stars of the moment. Creations by Ukrainian Masha Popova were worn by singer Dua Lipa. Actress Zendaya was seduced by Di Petsa.
But Burberry, a London house founded in 1856, remains the most anticipated event. The parade will take place Monday afternoon. This will be only the second collection from English creative director Daniel Lee, after February’s.
On the last day, Tuesday, Ukrainian designers will present their collection, with London once again hosting Ukrainian fashion week due to the war.