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Fashion draws on its creative instincts

Lauretta Roberts

In yet another coup for London Fashion Week, one of the most exciting British designers, Jonathan Saunders, has announced he will be joining the growing list of big names to return to the event.

In recent weeks Burberry, Pringle and Matthew Williamson have all announced they will be returning to the capital as part of LFW’s 25-year celebrations. With a move to a new “cultural home” at Somerset House that offers more opportunities for designers to present outside of the catwalk format, through the enhanced exhibition area and the new presentation stream, we can expect this event to be both a commercial and creative success.

In tough times such as these the importance of the latter factor cannot be underestimated. Drapers held the first meeting of its advisory board for the forthcoming Drapers Fashion Summit in November (more details will be revealed in the coming weeks). The board comprises a number of big-name retailers from multiples such as New Look, Topshop and Reiss to independents such as Matches in London, along with brand owners and fashion editors.

Their role is to help us formulate a content programme and format that will excite and inspire the industry. Given the names on the list we expected a diverse response, but in fact the response was united: “We want creative inspiration about design, product and branding.” What they didn’t want was “anything boring” or, crucially, talk of when the recession will end. “It doesn’t matter - I’m just interested in the future,” said one major high street chief executive.

That comment in itself was hugely inspiring.

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