British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tillman set out to put the “wow” back into London Fashion Week when he was appointed last year. He did that with aplomb at this week’s 25th anniversary of the event, which proved to be the best and most commercial in more than a decade.
While the UK capital is normally viewed as a hotbed of creativity without much serious cash potential, the international buyers didn’t skip this season’s event, which saw the return of advertising powerhouse Burberry plus Matthew Williamson and Jonathan Saunders, and attendance was up 15%. Anecdotally, this did appear to translate into order-writing too.
The LFW youngsters threw in plenty of rebellious designs but also adopted a more business-like approach, putting out some of the most commercial collections London has seen in years. It’s a fine line to tread and our homegrown talent should be applauded for making the most of the opportunity presented by Tillman.
What London needs now is a commitment from the returning designers to show here again next year. Without the support of the likes of Burberry creative director Christopher Bailey, LFW could be in for a shocking fall from grace next February.
The Exhibition at LFW also relocated to Somerset House and 180 The Strand this season, but while the venue was an improvement, footfall still disappointed some.
However, there is masses to build on from this season’s stellar event but I’m sure Tillman would agree, London’s work is not yet done.