Fashion editors are sighing into their cappuccinos nationwide as London Fashion Week draws to a close today, ending a pivotal week in the UK annual fashion calendar, which has held a spotlight over this £21 billion industry highlighting the formidable position occupied by the UK within the global fashion arena.
The breakdown of London Fashion Week goes as follows: International buyers from 28 countries, press from 42 countries, 62 catwalk shows, over 5000 visitors, and a whopping £100million of orders.
The UK fashion industry is a serious business, and sector spokespeople are remarking on the transformation from the 70s and 80s heyday of carefree creativity, where commerciality played an ultimately unforgiving second fiddle, to the current culture of nurturing emerging designers who are able to assert a recognised foothold on this notoriously ruthless sector.
British Fashion Council Ambassador Sarah Mower attributes this development towards a cultural shift, a movement towards “collective action, cooperation, generosity and camaraderie”; during the last decade there has been a greater emphasis placed upon mentor schemes, and a general “share and share alike” attitude between the new designers on the block (Christopher Kane, Roksanda Ilincic, Erdem) has compounded London into a thriving design centre.
On this morning’s Today programme, designer Patrick Grant differentiated young London designers as having “an emerging creative flair” that isn’t matched by other European cities such as Paris and Milan, noting the culture of nurture that has played such a heavy hand in London’s success.
From my perspective as an aspiring designer, I couldn’t think of a better entry point into the industry than London, and it is precisely the pioneering attitude of the small British fashion businesses celebrated by London Fashion Week that provides the motivation and incentive to stand among them as peers.
London Fashion Week highlights:
Playful 50s skirts at Temperley London, Alice’s “favourite ever collection”
90s grunge at House of Holland
Mary Katrantzou’s postage stamp-inspired collection