London Fashion Week used to be invitation only for press and trade – unless you were a fashion student with a degree in blagging. But on Friday, it’s the first season where the private preview is open to the public on the LFW online hub.
As Coronavirus swept the country and made us virtual prisoners in our own homes, the British Fashion Council had to update their plans for the traditional summer showcase. This month is when collections for Cruise 2021 (that’s product going in store from November) are traditionally shown.
So the cleverest way to tackle the event? Take it online! We’re here for the new incarnation – and so are you.
As we reframe everything we knew about our current existence – from how we socialise, shop and champion people of colour – it’s only natural that the fashion industry gets ready for a major shake-up, too.
For several years the industry has been clamouring for change to the relentless schedule of international travel, super expensive shows (which can cost from £100,000 to £1,000,000 *plus*) and answers to big questions on sustainability. The online format could lead the way to more conscious consumerism AND boost our economic power. Last year the British fashion industry contributed £35billion to the UK economy and employs almost 900,000 people.
So, how can you get involved? Over three days, viewers can take their seats on their sofas and dip in and out of the schedule as they wish. The traditional catwalk show is replaced by fashion films (featuring interactive tech so you can click and unlock in-video exclusives and discover the designers), panel chats and live performance.
If you want to brush up on the new designer names to know, all the information is online in a super useful directory while the homepage leads off to multistreams of content with playlists (including an exclusive soundtrack from GLAMOUR), webinars, podcasts and a virtual guide to London.
Add these don’t miss events to your calendar now…
13.15 Priya Alhuwalia, winner of the H&M Design Award in 2018 for her recycled fabric designs, is launching her book, Jalebi, in a virtual gallery space you can ‘walk’ around.
11.30 Hotly-tipped menswear designer Bianca Saunders hosts a live panel discussion with photographer Joshua Woods, model Jess Cole and stylist Matt Holmes.
16.10 BFC and Google panel discussion on the importance of collaboration in fashion sustainability.
12.10 Cult dress label Rixo present a short film peeking behind-the-scenes at their lookbook shoot.
15.20 Roksanda shares her Designer Diary through moving and still imagery.
19.55 #LFWCatwalkChallenge – the first time public content will show at LFW. Post an Instagram video of an outfit that makes you happy and tag #LFWCatwalkChallenge and @johnlewisandpartners before Friday 12noon. John Lewis will donate £5 to the BFC Foundation Fashion Fund for the Covid Crisis for every video.
20.00 Rounding off the event, Mulberry’s virtual My Local Live has an exclusive performance from Lapsley.
We won’t see you there IRL but we *will* see you there!