London Fashion Week: Why it is out of tune

At a time when four fashion weeks are imposing their rules and trends to the rest of the world, let’s dig deeper in their specificities and assets. New York, London, Milan, Paris… You will discover fashion insiders’s real opinions and critiques.

London Fashion Week is the youngest sister and tries to affirm itself beyond the three other behemoths. It reaches a peek of popularity through the Internet community, bloggers, style influencers, fashionistas… But what about fashion professionals, buyers, editors, marketers? Well it seems they are neglecting LFW and let it into the hands of an amateur fashion community. Zoom on the truth about London Fashion Week…

London Fashion Week was created in 1984 by the newly created British Fashion Council and gathered designers’ collections of that time into one place. John Galliano was then spotted when presenting his graduation fashion show. It seems this trend of fashion students launching their brand is more than accurate in London, city which epitomizes fashion education in itself with the biggest and world leaders centers, Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion, Conde Nast College of Fashion and many more… This could have been a real asset like in New York where students learn how to deal with the market place in their design, learn how to design an outfit that is going to be sold out. In 2015, designers are more than artists, they are businessmen. And the spirit of London is much less business oriented to the benefit of freedom of speech and artistic expression. That is indeed one purpose of fashion. But how are editors and buyers supposed to react when confronted to a nonsensical handmade dress which is more strange than ever? How do you want them to buy such pieces and be able to sell them afterwards or shoot them in commercials? Fine, let London designers create art, but please, teach them how to evolve in a world where the demand for wearable outfits is the major trend. And I’m not saying that fashion should be all about boring simple clothes. Of course not, I’m a proud attorney for Haute Couture week in Paris which means a lot. But London collections have been essentially organized for ready-to-wear collections. And ready-to-wear does not rhyme with absurd eccentricity. The only real “shootable” collections are very few during this week. Burberry, Tom Ford, Paul Smith…
I admit it, I’m a bit harsh. Truth is that LFW has some real assets in today’s consumer society. Live streaming for instance is playing a key role on the development and communication strategy of these young designers who seek for more public representation. This is truly genuine. It means democratizing fashion microcosm to people all over the world, like if they were part of this unique privilege. British Fashion Council has also the most modern portal for online accreditations and allows non-professionals to attend this international event. It is even organizing some public shows. This is certainly why LFW is the most popular of The Four. Privatization is slowly dropping down… And this is not to please today’s fashion editors who were so proud of their position and privileges.
The peek of popularity is antithetic between a wider and wider audience and fewer press impact. On Instagram, I saw that few editors were attending London collections for this Fall Winter season, many of them flying directly from New York to Milan.

Weirdness, impossible collections, young students who just graduated and do not know how to adapt themselves with the demand, outcasts, underdog designers… This is all undermining London fashion week which, at the very heart of creativity, could be the biggest center for creative ready-to-wear fashion.

Read the original review on Interview Russia’s web-page:

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