September is known for being the most important month in the fashion world, when all eyes turn once again to the catwalks of the fashion capitals. London Fashion Week will be returning from 16 – 20 September with a hybrid digital-physical format, showcasing some of the biggest names in fashion as well as the industry’s most exciting rising stars. But the action isn’t just limited to the runway – the whole city comes to life with exciting one-off events and experiences, from captivating art and photography exhibitions to innovative classes and workshops. Here’s our guide to the unmissable events to visit this London Fashion Week 2022.
The Art of Elegance by Bil Donovan
13 September – 29 October
Renowned American fashion artist and illustrator Bil Donovan – best known for being Christian Dior’s first-ever artist in residence – is being celebrated with his own show at Gray MCA gallery in South Kensington.
Launching just in time for London Fashion Week and titled ‘The Art of Elegance’, the exhibition will showcase some of his most distinctive artworks, including pieces commissioned by the beauty powerhouse Estée Lauder, a selection of mesmerising Dior studies and a new series of paintings that have never been seen before.
What’s more, Donovan will be appearing in person for a live illustration session on Saturday 17 September, where guests will be able to watch the maestro at work as he sketches a model dressed in exquisite couture.
Cromwell Place, South Kensington, London SW7 2JE
Gavin Bond: Being There at Hamiltons Gallery
15 September – 29 October
This new exhibition offers a glimpse into what it was like to be backstage at some of the 90s’ most iconic fashion shows, courtesy of renowned photographer Gavin Bond. Featuring previously unseen footage from Bond’s extensive archives, the images delve back to his student days at Central Saint Martins, where his contemporaries included Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and Giles Deacon.
While there he was given a free pass to London Fashion Week, which led to him to develop his own unique style of reportage photography, capturing a stressed Claudia Schiffer running behind the scenes at a Versace show one minute and a relaxed Kate Moss sipping champagne backstage the next. This is the Supers as you’ve never seen them before.
13 Carlos Place, Mayfair, London W1K 2EU
Brora’s ‘Stitch It Don’t Ditch It’ Workshops
16 & 17 September
There’s nothing more sustainable than rewearing pieces you already own – which is why British knitwear label Brora has launched these clever workshops, designed to help you get the most out of your treasured cashmere jumpers and cardigans.
Run by talented seamstress Shelley Zetuni from Sewingsmith, you can bring along any knitted pieces that could do with a spruce up and Shelley will teach you her magical technique for repairing them using unique darning that celebrates imperfections rather than hides them. There will be two sessions running each day at their Chelsea and Marylebone stores, but book up quick as places are limited.
Running from 10.30am-1pm and 2pm-4.30pm at Brora Sloane Street, 6 Symons Street, Chelsea, London SW3 2TJ on Friday 16 September and from 10.30am-1pm and 2pm-4.30pm at Brora Marylebone, 81 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, London W1U 4QJ on Saturday 17 September
Vivienne Westwood Installations
16 – 20 September
Trust the maverick British designer to do something a little different when it comes to London Fashion Week. This September, her London boutiques will be presenting looks from the AW22/23 runway show collection she created with her husband Andreas Kronthaler, which has previously only ever been seen at Paris Fashion Week.
Head to her Conduit Street store to see the off-white silk gown worn by long-time friend of the brand Courtney Love in the label’s AW22/23 campaign, while the Davies Street boutique will be showcasing look #37 from the collection, which features the silhouette of a classic dirndl, in a nod to Andreas’ Austrian heritage.
44 Conduit Street, Mayfair, London W1S 2YL and 6 Davies Street, Mayfair, London W1K 3DN
The Fashion School
17 – 20 September
This Chelsea institution was founded by fashion insider Caroline Gration in 2012 with the aim of promoting a healthy attitude towards fashion and individuality. For LFW, The Fashion School is opening its doors to offer a variety of free trial classes for kids, teens and adults who are looking to brush up on their sewing skills and meet their brilliant students and tutors.
Head down to their open day on Saturday 17 September to see a class in action and stay for their live quilting demo with artist Jodie Glen-Martin, where you’ll be able to see the process in action as well as give it a go yourself. It’s a great way to connect with your inner creative.
Various times, check the website for more details, 6 Burnsall Street, Chelsea, London SW3 3ST
Raey Café by Silo at 5 Carlos Place
16 – 19 September
If you need a quick pick-me-up between shows, the place to be and be seen at this London Fashion Week is the pop-up Raey Café by Silo at Matchesfashion’s Mayfair townhouse. Sustainable British fashion brand Raey is teaming up with the trailblazing Silo restaurant – the first in London to be completely zero waste – to serve up a menu of no-waste delights for breakfast, lunch and throughout the afternoon.
Created exclusively by Silo’s chef and founder Douglas McMaster, you can expect innovative dishes made from the finest local, seasonal ingredients. “Douglas is a pioneer in the food industry and a complete inspiration as to how we should all be aiming to live,” says Raey’s creative director Rachael Proud. “No waste, take as little from this planet as possible and give back as much as you can.”
Raey café by Silo opens on Friday 16th September 2022 until Sunday 18th September 2022 from 10am – 6pm and Monday 19th September from 10am – 2pm, 5 Carlos Place, Mayfair, London W1K 3AP