From Ian McKellen to Florence Pugh – 6 big London Fashion Week moments
London Fashion Week was back with a bang for autumn/winter 2023, returning to a full schedule of catwalk shows and presentations after last season’s event was scaled back following the death of the Queen.
Celebrities were out in force – on the runways and the front row – as designers old and new unveiled their latest collections.
Here are all the headline moments from the London shows…
1. Sir Ian McKellen’s poetry recital
Sir Ian McKellen opened the SS Daley show with a reading of Alfred Tennyson’s poem The Coming Of Arthur.
The 83-year-old wore a navy pea coat, trousers and beret. He walked the runway, then joined designer Steven Stokey-Daley for a bow at the end.
2. Florence Pugh’s spoken word performance
Actor and red carpet style icon Florence Pugh made a surprise appearance on the Harris Reed catwalk on Thursday night.
Wearing an elaborate harlequin sequin dress and huge headpiece, the Don’t Worry Darling star – who later wore a dress designed by Reed for Nina Ricci to the Baftas – opened the show, held at Tate Modern.
Reciting a spoken word piece, she invited the audience to “embrace the lamé and sequins of life, because all the world’s a stage”.
3. Secondhand style at Oxfam
Putting sustainability in the spotlight, Oxfam’s Fashion Fighting Poverty show featured a slew of celebrities wearing secondhand outfits.
Supermodel Erin O’Connor, activist and broadcaster Munroe Bergdorf, and model Daisy Lowe (currently pregnant with her first child) were some of the stars who walked the runway in clothes that are now being auctioned on eBay.
4. Richard Quinn’s floral fantasy
Famous for having the late Queen front row at his show in 2018, Richard Quinn is known for his love of latex and floral prints.
His garden-inspired autumn/winter show leaned heavily on the latter, featuring a flurry of frocks with flower prints, embroidery and embellishments.
British model Jourdan Dunn walked the runway in a floral strapless peplum gown with black opera gloves, and the show closed with a range of bold bridalwear looks.
5. Julien Macdonald’s triumphant return
The best show we’ve seen yet – thank you @JulienMacdonald pic.twitter.com/Xl12d426KG
— Wes and Pete (@wesandpete) February 19, 2023
Following a three-year absence from the London Fashion Week schedule, Julien Macdonald was in the mood to party on Sunday night.
Presenting his Julien X Gabriela AW23 collection (a collaboration with Mexican designer Gabriela Gonzalez), the Welsh-born designer brought the house down with a high-octane show soundtracked by club bangers.
Clad in sequin-encrusted gowns and skimpy bodysuits, supermodels Winnie Harlow, Leomie Anderson and Cindy Bruna gave a masterclass in catwalking, as they strutted the runway and posed for photographers.
The enthusiastic audience included Gemma Collins, Amanda Holden, Despacito singer Luis Fonsi, and Strictly Come Dancing stars Aljaž Škorjanec and Janette Manrara.
6. Daniel Lee’s debut at Burberry
It was all change at Burberry, where new creative director Daniel Lee unveiled his first collection for the heritage fashion house.
In a distinct departure from predecessor Riccardo Tisci – who had a penchant for supermodels and glitzy gowns – the Bradford-born designer brought a punky, streetwear aesthetic to the autumn/winter catwalk.
Showing lots of oversized outerwear and knits, Lee added irreverent touches – many of the models carried hot water bottles that matched their outfits, and one wore a knitted duck hat.