After 18 months of uncertainty, London Fashion Week will take place in a hybrid physical and digital format in September.
During the pandemic, the biannual event took place mostly online, with just a handful of real-life catwalks on the schedule that came with stringent social distancing measures.
Now, though, LFW is (almost) back to normal, with major brands including Simone Rocha, Richard Quinn, Erdem, and Roksanda all staging physical shows.
Additionally, newcomers including Nensi Dojaka and KNWLS will take to the runway with shows held at the British Fashion Council’s new TikTok space, while gender-bending designer Harris Reed will make his debut at LFW, much to the industry’s excitement.
Read on for everything you need to know about London Fashion Week this season and how you can get involved.
What is it?
London Fashion Week is a trade event organised by the British Fashion Council (BFC).
It happens twice a year: once in February, when autumn/winter collections are shown, and once in September, for the spring/summer collections.
Traditionally, the aim has been to give designers the opportunity to showcase their new collections ahead of when they will be available for purchase.
This allows buyers and editors to see what brands have planned for next season and identify the key trends and pieces that influence which clothes we see in shops, on websites and in magazines.
When is it?
London is the second fashion week in a series of four major city events, preceded by New York and followed by Milan and Paris.
This year, some events will take place on Thursday 16 September, but the shows themselves – which usually last no more than 10 minutes but almost always run late – begin on Friday and will continue over the weekend, concluding on Tuesday 21 September.
Where does it happen?
The majority of shows take place across the capital, with high-end brands often choosing palatial settings to correspond with their sartorial visions.
A small number of fashion shows will be set in the BFC’s show space, the location of which varies from season-to-season.
Can I get tickets?
London Fashion Week is an invite-only event, meaning that it’s closed off to the public.
However, given that so many of London Fashion Week’s events have gone digital during the pandemic, several designers have chosen to stick to this new virtual way of presenting their collections, usually via short films.
This means that members of the public can watch the films on the BFC website as soon as they become available.
Who is invited?
Buyers, editors and trend forecasters will make up most of the audience at shows during London Fashion Week, as these are the people whose job it is to know what designers have planned for next season.
A small number of celebrities (models, musicians and actors) will also be invited to certain shows as their presence boosts publicity for the brands.
However, their invitations won’t be random – normally the famous faces in attendance have some kind of relationship with the designer whose show they are attending.
Who are the designers to watch?
London Fashion Week is all about the amalgamation between heritage brands and fresh talent.
While established brands are always highlights on the schedule, there are some key names missing, including JW Anderson, Christopher Kane and Burberry.
However, there are several newcomers to watch, like Dojaka and Reed, whose platforms grew from strength to strength during the pandemic, making them two of the most exciting designers on this season’s lineup.