London Fashion Week: A season of synergies, scores of shows and several Saudis
London Fashion Week, which opens Friday, will feature over 100 events this season, in a season marked by new synergies, multiple debuts and a sprinkling of Saudi designers.
In a jam-packed official schedule, there are 19 live events – catwalk shows or presentations – and eight confirmed parties, on the opening Friday alone.
The runway action of this Spring/Summer 2024 season opens Friday morning with Irish veteran Paul Costelloe, in a day that includes happening talents such as Edward Crutchley, Bora Aksu, Mark Fast and Ahluwalia. And Fashion East, a joint show of emerging talent curated by fashion legend Louise Kennedy that is probably the most important fashion breeding ground anywhere on the planet.
There is no better talent spotter in fashion than Kennedy when you consider that Fashion East alumni include Kim Jones, Craig Green, Jonathan Anderson, Gareth Pugh, Grace Wales Bonner, Maximilian, Marques’ Almeida, Nensi Dojaka, Roksanda Ilinic and Simon Rocha, among many others.
This season it’s the turn of young hopefuls Johanna Parv, Standing Ground and Karoline Vitto.
That evening, the British Fashion Council, which controls the runway season in London, will jointly host a Worlds Collide with Syky, the virtual fashion platform, which has created a special digital incubator for fledgling talent.
London will pulse with parties too: Browns is feting Suki Waterhouse for Golden Goose, ES Magazine plans to party with Paco Rabanne; and Ahluwalia and Sinead Gorey will throw their own after-parties. 10 magazine will fete its 24 years in Claridge’s and expect a major turnout for the opening of the exhibition The Missing Thread: Untold Stories of Black British Fashion on Monday evening.
Though the biggest physical event will surely be Daniel Lee’s second collection at Burberry. Like his debut in a distant south London Park, his second show is far from the city centre – in Highbury Fields, a large open space up north surrounded by Georgian houses.
Elsewhere, the hottest ticket will be the JW Anderson, the most critically acclaimed British designer today. In a busy week for the Northern Irishman, Anderson will also host the opening of On Foot, a dialogue with contemporary and iconic artists at Mayfair gallery Offer Waterman.
Otherwise, editors and buyers will range about the UK capital to catch must-see shows by the likes of Simone Rocha, Richard Quinn, Roksanda, 16Arlington, Knwls, Molly Goddard, Stefan Cooke, Erdem and Labrum London. The official schedule also boasts several newcomers this season Spencer Badu, Holzweiler, S. Joon and Srvc to name a few.
London’s reputation as the world’s most important designer hatchery will be given a boost by an extra special celebration of the 30th anniversary of Newgen. Beginning with the opening of the exhibition Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion, sponsored by McQueen and co-curated by Sarah Mower, as well as Newgen designers Feben, Chet Lo, S.S Daley, Conner Ives, Di Pesta, Sinéad O’Dwyer and Yuhan Wang presenting their SS24 collections.
The British Fashion Council and Film AlUla have also linked to invite the industry to view Spring/Summer 24 collections from Atelier Hekayat and ArAm Designs. Two design houses based in Saudi Arabia making their first presentations at London Fashion Week.
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