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London catwalks: the buyer's view, day one

Machine A founder and buying director Stavros Karelis reveals his standout shows from day one of London Fashion Week autumn 17, championing the city’s ”diversity, uniqueness and individuality”.

Stavros karelis crop

Stavros karelis crop

Why attend LFW?

LFW is one of the most important fashion weeks throughout the season. From a buying point of view, one can see some of the best emerging talents, the ones to watch. It’s one of the most diverse fashion weeks because you can attend really big shows but you also have the opportunity to see some of the most exciting new designers and even the future of fashion at shows such as Central Saint Martins, where the MA graduates are showcasing. There is the international fashion showcase - IFS - where 28 countries are participating as part of LFW. That diversity you cannot find anywhere else. If there is one fashion week with so much concentrated new talent then that is definitely LFW. For that reason so many international press and buyers travel to London and get to see the future talents firstly here, before anywhere else.

What did you think of today at LFW?

Central Saint Martins MA Graduate show at London Fashion Week

Central Saint Martins MA Graduate show at London Fashion Week

Central Saint Martins MA Graduate show at London Fashion Week

I think that LFW started really strong on its first day with some of the most exciting designers. Marta Jakubowski, Ashley Williams, Sadie Williams and of course the Central Saint Martins MA show, set the pace for the rest of the fashion week. Creative wise, when you get to experience the CSM MA show you know that it cannot get any more creative than that. This is where, most of the time, all the ideas and some of the best talent is born and then later being adapted by the rest of the industry.

British designers even in such an early stage like Marta, Sadie or Ashley have mastered the fine balance between being commercial and always pushing the boundaries of creativity and being unafraid to explore new territories.

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams

Which shows did you see today? What stood out?

I really liked Marta Jakubowski, a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art, who with the support of NEWGEN will develop to be one of the most exciting designers of her generation. I really did enjoy the fact that she has started experimenting with color like purple and orange and new shapes using luxurious fabrics in a very unique way. I think that the puffer jackets will become an instant hit with buyers and press.

I also really enjoyed Sadie Williams, another alumni of NEWGEN, because she has used these beautiful textiles and prints with many crystals and kept it cool and wearable and not flashy at all. I particularly liked her reflective pieces and these beautiful printed dresses embellished with crystals.

Finally the highlight of the day was definitely the CSM MA show. I think this has risen to become one of the most important shows of the season with absolutely everyone in attendance. If one wants to see who is the next big thing they only have to look at the graduates that have been selected to show. The course director Fabio Piras is doing an excellent job. Some of these graduates were absolutely phenomenal like Stefan Cooke, Robert Sanders and Li Gong.

Li Gong at Central Saint Martins MA Graduate show at London Fashion Week

Li Gong at Central Saint Martins MA Graduate show at London Fashion Week

Li Gong at Central Saint Martins MA Graduate show at London Fashion Week

What I like mostly is that during London Fashion Week you get to experience many different brands and designers that don’t generate one key trend or a similar identity. London is championing diversity, uniqueness and individuality and that is an extremely strong message amongst the designers that we saw today and we will see in the next few days.

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