Thanks to the current ‘new normal’, there’s no doubt that the upcoming London Fashion Week is going to be a very different version to the one we’ve become accustomed to. With the recent news of the UK government tightening social distancing measures, brands are having to be more creative than ever before – and with London having garnered a reputation as the most experimental week of fashion month, we can’t wait to see what is in store.
This season’s schedule, which runs from 17- 22 September, is filled with over 80 British designers including Emilia Wickstead, Erdem, Eudon Choi, Fashion East, Molly Goddard, Osman, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Temperley London, Toga and Halpern. Physical shows are still on schedule for selected brands such as Roksanda, Simone Rocha and Mark Fast, who will all have socially distanced audiences. Meanwhile, 21 other designers such as Victoria Beckham and Christopher Kane have opted for invitation-only personal presentations and Salon Shows combining both a physical and digital aspect (although brands will only invite a limited number of spectators to view their collections).
In fact, the majority of fashion houses have opted to go purely digital this year. Over 50 brands will display their Spring-Summer collections virtually including Erdem, Richard Quinn and JW Anderson through the medium of specially created fashion films. Burberry, however, will be combining the two, presenting a show which will be live-streamed spectator-free.
The plus of the new hybrid format? It is gender-neutral with 40 womenswear designers, 15 menswear and 20 of which are unisex as well as each show being open to the publics gaze. Wherever they are in the world, those wanting to watch the action need only to log into the Official Digital Hub on London Fashion Week’s website to gain access to shows throughout the week. This is our guide to what to expect during London Fashion Week 2020.
After the release of Dior’s hit haute couture fashion film earlier this summer, other designers are set to follow suit for this fashion week. Look out for Erdem, JW Anderson and Richard Quinn who will all be showcasing their spring-summer 2021 collections through creative episodes. What’s more, tech giant IBM is teaming up with London Fashion Week as an official partner to offer brands an ‘elevated digital experience’ using its impressive artificial intelligence. Fashion editors can expect to experience a similar atmosphere to what they’d normally witness within a fashion show – but via a virtual medium. To watch, visit London Fashion Week’s website where you can freely access any of the Spring Summer 2021 collections through the platform’s hub.
Erdem at 1pm followed by JW Anderson at 3.30pm on 21 September, Richard Quinn 2.45pm on 22 September; all available to watch on The Official Digital Hub; londonfashionweek.co.uk
Eudon Choi and Victoria Beckham will all be showcasing their Spring Summer 2021 collections with the return of the Salon Show. ‘Although this season is looking incredibly different for Team VB, we’re hard at work behind-the-scenes and so excited to share the new collection with you’ wrote Victoria Beckham to her 28.6 million followers. In previous years Beckham’s collections have filled some of the grandest spaces in London, such as the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall, and have been populated with rows of celebrities, journalists and fashion insiders.
However, for Beckham’s Spring Summer 2021, the designer will be showcasing an intimate Salon Show with only limited guests to adhere to the government social distancing advice. According to Stephanie Phair, Chairman of the British Fashion Council, ‘Beckham is going back to her early days and doing presentations, which she’s actually very excited about.’ But the rest of the fashion world is excited too, as everyone waits to see how the designer creates a large impact in a more modest setting.
Tune into Molly Goddard 19 September at 5.15pm, Victoria Beckham 21st September at 2.45pm and Eudon Choi at 1.30pm 22 September on The Official Digital Hub; londonfashionweek.co.uk
Exclusive, invitation-only personal presentations are what designers including Christopher Kane, Halpern, David Koma and Huishan Zhang are opting for this season in light of COVID-19 restrictions. How will this work? Much like presentations before the pandemic, designers will display their collection in a more intimate space. As to who will get a coveted space in the diary, appointments will be limited to keep in line with the UK’s current six-person social distancing policy. As such, only a small number of guests including fashion buyers, editors and influencers, will have the opportunity to view the collection in the flesh.
Visit London Fashion Week’s Official Digital Hub to watch Halpern’s Heroines Of The Front Line on 18 September from 11:15am and David Koma x Lavazza: Masters of Craft at 1.30pm followed by Christopher Kane at 3.30pm on 21 September. londonfashionweek.co.uk
Burberry is no stranger to live streaming – the heritage brand became the first luxury fashion label to broadcast its runway show to a live global audience back in 2010. This year, it will its Spring/Summer 2021 collection via live streaming from a secret location along the British coast. But for those who can’t wait, the brand will be also be showing live coastline performances on Instagram towards the build-up of the show.
Speaking of his inspiration for the SS21 ‘Back to Nature’ show, creative director Riccado Tisci wrote: ‘As humans, we have always had a deep affinity to nature. We have had to respect and rely upon its power for our very existence, whilst marvelling and revelling in its extraordinary beauty. Especially recently, we have all yearned to reconnect again. For this show, I wanted to celebrate these feelings by bringing our community together in a creative experience that takes place within the beautiful, natural landscape of Britain.’
Tune in at 1pm on 17 September to watch it live on London Fashion Week’s official website; londonfashionweek.co.uk
Amazon x London Fashion Week
In light of the fashion industry taking a huge financial hit as a result of the pandemic, Amazon has pledged to help. Teaming up with the British Fashion council in order to support home-grown talent, Amazon is launching a digital store in time for London Fashion Week to help small and medium-sized British designers to reach their 150 million Prime Members.
Taking part are Les Girls Les Boys, Grenson, Kat Maconie, De La Vali and Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, of Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, who will be selling its contemporary label, Preen Line. What’s more, in true pandemic style, face coverings from Mulberry, Halpern and Julien Macdonald will also be available to shop.
The boutique launches on 17 September; amazon.co.uk
Exclusive Capsule Collections
Luxury fashion boutique Browns has teamed up with two female designers, Molly Goddard and Simone Rocha, to create a capsule collection that will sit alongside their shows for fashion week. ‘The collection celebrates femininity in a modern way and explores signature Simone Rocha elements in new styles and fabrications,’ says Rocha of her designs, so think 1970’s puff sleeves, meters of hand smoked tulle and dazzling dresses.
While Molly Goddard has created gingham dresses and tulle smocks in bright blues and pinks, Simone Rocha has designed all her pieces in red hues, representing ‘love, birth, nature and passion’ – something we all need reminding of in uncertain times like these.