London Fashion Week to host 32 brands, and four events, this week
With the UK off limits due to many nations due to the pandemic, the weekend’s edition of London Fashion Week is taking place under pretty tricky conditions, however the British Fashion Council still has managed to cram in plenty of action in the three-day season.
Though largely a digital season the upcoming London Fashion Week, scheduled for Saturday, June 12 to Monday 14, will feature four actual physical events; collections from multiple influential houses – like Preen by Thornton Bregzzi, Bethany Williams, Ahluwalia and Per Gotesson - and several cool collaborations.
While the weekend will also witness a whopping 18 collections under the umbrella of the DiscoveryLAB series, all of which are unveiled in morning slots.
“This season will continue to celebrate excellence in design and creativity by bringing together 32 womenswear, menswear & accessories brands into one schedule. Most of the content will once again be digital and available to stream on londonfashionweek.co.uk, with designers looking to new, innovative, ways to showcase their collections,” Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, told FashionNetwork.com.
Rush picked out collections from BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner Bethany Williams, and a digital activation from Qasimi on Saturday as two highlights. Along with Newgen recipient Ahluwalia, who will debut a film directed by Akinola Davis Jr featuring a new collection and the new Ahluwalia x Mulberry collaboration of bags. Another Newgen designer Robyn Lynch will be premiering a short film directed by Spencer Young, showcasing a non-seasonal menswear upcycled collection with the support of deadstock from Colombia.
Two names to watch in the DiscoveryLAB series, made in collaboration with Toni&Guy, are Auroboros and Chloe Baines. Auroboros, which has collaborated with the Institute of Digital Fashion to create an AR filter of one of their dresses that people can try on virtually, while Chloe Baines will unveil a gender-fluid collection made entirely of upcycled and deadstock materials.
Due to travel restrictions still and rules on large-scale events, there are only four physical on-schedule evening events. On Saturday, a catwalk show and party with Reuben Selby and Maisie Williams followed by an installation by London-based brand DSK. Monday night will see the collective student event, The London Seven Collective, followed by Cut from the Same Cloth - a collab with Daniel A Hanson.
Brexit’s shadow continues to hang over the whole future of LFW. However, the BFC has smartly reacted with a new partnership with Clearpay, a global trade platform promoting British fashion internationally.
“While the UK moves through this next year, we continue to work closely with government on the issues that matter to the industry such as talent, trade and intellectual property and ensure the voices of businesses are heard. There have definitely been challenges since January 2021, but there have also been successes. This spring, the BFC secured a change to the Immigration Rules, introducing a ‘stop-the-clock’ mechanism on the T5 (Temporary Worker) Creative and Sporting visa used by models and freelancers in the creative industries,” underlined Rush.
The decision allows creative workers to travel in and out of the UK without that time counting towards the 14-day engagement rule, stressed Rush, “meaning international talent now has the right to come to the UK for London Fashion Week and then travel outside for work without their right to work being cancelled. This change is hugely important to supporting the competitiveness of the UK and making our country more accessible to international models and creative talent.”
With media reports of international, and multiple European visitors from the continent, being held for five or six hours at Heathrow and Gatwick, and even finger-printed by aggressive immigration officials, the BFC’s lobbying will not go unnoticed.
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