A look back at London Fashion Week through the years

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Kate Moss and Mel B walk for Julien MacDonald (PA)
Kate Moss and Mel B walk for Julien MacDonald (PA)

London Fashion Week kicks off today with physical shows and showrooms returning at last.

But even as models take to the runway and the parties get started, many shows, like JW Anderson and Vivienne Westwood, remain digital. The week’s format has shifted, but there can be no doubt that, since its launch in 1984, London Fashion Week has become known as one of the most star-studded, fabulous events in the capital.

Alexander McQueen at London Fashion Week in 2000 (AFP/Getty Images)
Alexander McQueen at London Fashion Week in 2000 (AFP/Getty Images)

But London Fashion Week wasn’t always such a glitzy affair. In fact, it was initially founded in a car park in Kensington. John Galliano and Zandra Rhodes were a few of the visionaries to be uncovered in the eighties, as well as Tracey Boyd, Ghost and Betty Jackson, which were popular brands at the time.

Although the early nineties saw the recession hit the fashion industry hard, Alexander McQueen exploded onto the scene in 1992 and dominated the catwalks throughout the era with his boundary-pushing designs. His shows encapsulated an element of creativity and uniqueness which still pervades London Fashion Week today.

Naomi Campbell walking for Matthew Williamson in February 1999 (AFP/Getty Images)
Naomi Campbell walking for Matthew Williamson in February 1999 (AFP/Getty Images)

The runways also quickly attracted supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, who made regular appearances throughout the nineties for designers like Matthew Williamson and Jasper Conran.

It's not just the models who change with the times, but the designers, too. The LFW schedule is growing increasingly competitive, which means many designers don't make the cut year on year. But there are those who have managed to stand the test of time, keeping their place on the prestigious schedule for decades.

Vivienne Westwood at London Fashion Week in 1997 (PA Archive/PA Images)
Vivienne Westwood at London Fashion Week in 1997 (PA Archive/PA Images)

Vivienne Westwood rose to fame in the eighties thanks to her punk attitude which fused fashion with politics and pop culture. Years later and her collections still manage to be as relevant and powerful today as they were then, her fashion shows remaining one of the most-anticipated spectacles each season.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Other long-running labels include Burberry, John Rocha, Pam Hogg and Julien Macdonald, whose shows are never short of A-listers. In 1999, Macdonald created a memorable moment when he welcomed Kate Moss and Scary Spice onto the catwalk to showcase his latest sparkly creations.

The Queen and Anna Wintour at Richard Quinn (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen and Anna Wintour at Richard Quinn (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

During the 2010s the likes of Christopher Kane, Erdem and JW Anderson rose to prominence, while most recently Molly Goddard has found success with her confectionary tulles, Richard Malone with his expert draping and Richard Quinn – who infamously had the Queen sat front row.

Finally the shows have returned. Get ready for more memorable moments to come.

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