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LFW steals New York and Milan’s thunder

Are you in the mood to celebrate? It may be too soon to ask just yet, with all the mixed messages about whether or not we have hit the bottom of this downturn, but there is great cause for the British fashion industry to feel in buoyant mood this week.

For a start, summer’s here and with it the need for consumers to buy clothes, and secondly London Fashion Week (LFW), which celebrates its 25th birthday in September, is shaping up to be a corker. First Burberry confirmed it was bringing its Burberry Prorsum womenswear show to London, having only ever shown it in Milan, and Matthew Williamson has said he is returning from New York.

You may not be in the market for designer fashion, but a strong LFW benefits the whole industry by attracting the right buyers and press to the capital and by proving to the rest of the world that we do indeed have the best design talent.

Hats off to British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tillman, whose first job after he took up the post was to secure London a slot on the international schedule after New York and Milan threatened to squeeze it out altogether. Having sorted that, he’s gone back and dealt them a real poke in the eye by stealing a plum show from each of them. Quite right too. Now Harold, any chance of getting Alexander McQueen back from Paris?

Hopefully this success will inspire you to greater heights too as this week we launch the entries for the Drapers Awards 2009 (see p36 for more), which recognise the best fashion retailers and brands. Give it a go. If you win, you really will have cause to crack open the champagne.

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