The London Fashion Week Festival, previously called London Fashion Weekend, takes place every year the weekend after London Fashion Week – in autumn 2018 it was held from 20 September to 23 September. Unlike London Fashion Week itself, the Festival is open to the public and features various activities, shows, shopping opportunities with exclusive discounts, and more. Industry experts are gathered together for inspiring talks and the content is carefully curated to give you an insider view of the fashion world. See what happened at this year’s Festival with our Global Blue round-up.
The Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier talk
Legendary fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa passed away late last year, but his namesake exhibition at the Design Museum, which he co-curated, continues the legacy of his brand. If you haven’t visited the exhibition, do so – it interweaves a selection of garments personally selected by Alaïa with an overview of his long career, from its beginnings in the early 1980s. The Festival talk on his oeuvre and the exhibition was an excellent introduction to his work; Alice Black, co-director of the Design Museum, analysed the retrospective, which she curated with Mark Wilson, Carla Sozzani and Alaïa himself.
Trend Catwalk Shows
The best way to spot next season’s trends and make sure you get your hands on the best items first is through the Trend Catwalk Shows at London Fashion Week Festival. This season, Prints Charming presented the best print-themed looks for men and women for autumn/winter 2018/19; think clashing prints combined in the boldest possible way and full floral looks from head to toe – and remember prints shouldn’t be reserved just for springtime! Other Trend Catwalk Shows that took place were Prim and Prop, themed around prom and cocktail dresses, and Check Mates, which, as the name suggests, focused on checks, plaids and tartans.
Mother of Pearl catwalk show
Mother of Pearl has been a staple at London Fashion Week for several seasons now and the public showcase of the brand’s line was a treat on the Thursday of LFW Festival, the event’s first day. The brand was established in 2002 and its current creative director, Amy Powney, joined in 2006. Her aesthetic is authentic, playful and modern, and she focuses on sustainability in her designs. The brand received the Vogue/British Fashion Council Designer Fashion Fund prize in 2017, which further supported its eco-friendly mission. Powney was also interviewed by Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, as part of the Festival.
The SheerLuxe Show Live
SheerLuxe held two talks that were essentially live versions of this popular fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine (which has 76,500 Instagram followers as of September 2018) and thus offered the best fashion and beauty industry round-ups. SheerLuxe founder Georgie Coleridge Cole and her team were joined by panels of industry experts to reveal the latest beauty and fashion news. The first talk included Lisa Potter-Dixon, head make-up artist at Benefit Cosmetics, and there was also a discussion of fashion trends at every age and stage with journalist Stacey Duguid and stylist Sarah Clark. The second talk’s beauty expert was freelance beauty editor Samantha Freedman, and Lindsey Holland, the blogger and influencer behind Ropes of Holland, recommended new-season high-street buys.
Curated shopping galleries
The curated shopping halls are a highlight of London Fashion Week Festival: open to all ticket-holders, this year the galleries included over 150 British brands. Those represented covered everything from niche names to well-known high-street labels and luxury brands, plus accessories and jewellery. Some of the standouts for us were bohemian womenswear East London brand Goldie, silk clothing and accessories from Jessica Russell Flint, jewellery from Astrid & Miyu, fluffy accessories from Charlotte Simone, and great denim from Wåven. As well as browsing this wide selection, visitors could get a new piercing, a quick hair-do by the Toni & Guy team, and a rolled ice-cream treat from Pan-n-ice.