London Fashion Week starts today and here’s what to expect

Keep an eye on Simone Rocha, Victoria Beckham and newcomer Stacey Wall

Simone Rocha at her studio in London. Photograph: Joanne O’Brien

Simone Rocha at her studio in London. Photograph: Joanne O’Brien

 

London Fashion Week kicks off today with a huge weekend ahead of big name designers and celebrity-filled front rows.

So what to expect? Along with more than 50 catwalk shows from heavyweight names like Burberry, Alexa Chung, Victoria Beckham, Preen, Vivienne Westwood, Roksanda, Erdem and others there will be quite a few Irish names in the mix for autumn/winter 2019.  

Natalie B Coleman will be unveiling her collection in collaboration with the United Nations and newcomer Stacey Wall will be one to watch while other Irish names on the official schedule include Katie Ann McGuigan, Paul Costelloe and Sharon Wauchob.

Elsewhere Richard Malone will be showing his second standalone collection in the British Fashion Council showspace while all eyes will of course be on Simone Rocha, J W Anderson and 2018 womenswear winner Richard Quinn.

This season, London is encouraging greater participation at LFW by the general  public (even allowing for the purchase of front row tickets for £245 (€278)) with see now buy now catwalk shows, industry talks and consumer experiences over two days on February 16th and 17th.

The “no frills” sustainable fashion designer Amy Powney of Mother of Pearl will discuss the impact the fashion industry has on the planet in partnership with BBC Earth on Saturday, an event which will be filmed by BBC Earth and published across digital and social platforms.

Another highlight of the week will be the International Fashion Showcase presenting work from the best up and coming fashion talent from around the world. Sixteen designers will present installations that explore politics, sustainability, identity and heritage. One of them is Duran Lantink from the Netherlands whose “vagina” trousers has already drawn a lot of attention while others taking part hail from South Africa, Colombia, Rwanda, Canada, Kenya and Lebanon showing a mix of womenswear and menswear and new ideas shaping fashion globally.

Among the many other attractions during the week will be the ongoing Christian Dior exhibition at the V&A, a selection of photographs by the famous photographer David Bailey at the Gagosian Gallery, Susie Bubble’s pop up boutique which highlights rising fashion stars in China and an innovative popup by Fyodor Golan at Liberty recreating their spring summer 2019 runway set design that focused on the damage plastic waste has on our oceans as a backdrop for their sporty collection of recycled denims and cottons. Sustainability continues to be an overriding theme.

 At home, it’s no surprise that Irish fashion graduates cast their eyes longingly in the direction of London when there is not much to hold or assist them here in Ireland and no equivalent celebration at home of fashion, music, design, technology and art.

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