On the final day of London Fashion Week, Lydia King, director of womenswear for luxury department store Selfridges, shares her highlights.
More from: Autumn 19: a great British fashion week
London Fashion Week drew to a close on a sombre note this season – as the final shows began, news broke that Karl Lagerfeld, the legendary designer at the helm of Chanel and Fendi, had died in Paris aged 85.
The news rapidly filtered through the catwalk attendees and attention was momentarily diverted from the fashion on display in London, to musings on Lagerfeld’s legacy. Nevertheless, the final shows of the day packed a vibrant punch, a fitting close to a busy week of shows from new and established names alike.
The day’s highlight came from Richard Quinn, who presented an emotional collection entitled “Fearless Glamour”, inviting buyers into an opulent, glittering secret garden of design – one brimming with voluminous trapeze dresses, oversized puffballs, intensely embroidered suits and lashings of tulle.
Quinn was last year’s recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for design – and this year the prize went to Bethany Williams, thanks to her work around sustainability and supporting community projects.
At Williams’ catwalk show, Caroline Rush, CEO of the British Fashion Council (BFC), introduced the award saying: “[Her] work not only has a strong sustainable ethos, but she is committed to supporting hard to reach members of society, create opportunities for them that add long-term real value through the development of both creative and life skills.” HRH Camilla Duchess of Cornwall attended Williams show to present Williams with her prize.
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Elsewhere, two of the capital’s cult favourite brands showcased their new collections. Shrimps made its catwalk debut, with a collection inspired by Greek mythology – and Rixo showed its second presentation – brimming with glitz and disco sparkle.
As Rush said in her speech at Williams’ show, Karl Lagerfeld’s work doubtless inspired countless young designers to take up their craft. Over the five days of London Fashion Week, the creativity of a new generation of designers shone through once again, with the future of fashion in the UK remaining exciting and vibrant.
In the final of this season’s LFW buyer diaries, which have seen buyers from Machine A, Moda Operandi, Browns and Harvey Nichols share their daily highlights, Lydia King, director of womenswear for Selfridges, shares her highlights from the last day at LFW.
How was today at LFW?
Today was a great final day, with Rixo and Shrimps bringing a light-hearted end to London Fashion Week. It’s been a really strong season that has created a sense of excitement that could be felt for throughout the week.
Why do you attend LFW?
We are really proud to be a British business that supports British talent. London Fashion Week will always be a must for us because this is our hometown and London always has something new and exciting to offer, as well as brands we have longstanding relationships with such as Erdem, Christopher Kane and David Koma.
What collections stood out this LFW season from today so far?
It was great to see the ready to wear elements of Shrimps evolving, and the addition of really strong outerwear in the form of coats and capes. The Rixo presentation at Café De Paris was a really fun way to end LFW. The collection was really strong, with an interesting mixture of fabrics, textures and prints. Finally, we really enjoyed Nabil Nayal, who will be joining our Selfridges designer edit this spring, showing on schedule for the second time.
What shows are you looking forward to in Paris and Milan?
In Milan we are super excited for Daniel Lee’s runway debut at Bottega Veneta, there is such a great buzz around the brand since they released Daniel’s pre-fall look book in December. I can’t wait to see how his vision translates to the runway.
London Fashion Week: day five, buyer diary