Catwalks and parties: London Fashion Week marks 40 years

February 16, 2024 10:54 am

[Source: Reuters]

London Fashion Week kicks off on Friday with designers new and established presenting their autumn/winter lines and fashionistas joining in celebrations as the showcase event marks its 40th birthday this year.

Representatives from the British Fashion Council (BFC) will open the London Stock Exchange on Thursday and London landmarks like Covent Garden and the London Eye will be lit up green to mark the anniversary and celebrate the creative industry’s contribution to the British economy.

UK womenswear and menswear sales were valued an estimated total 47.5 billion pounds ($59.6 billion) last year, according to the BFC citing research firm Mintel.
The council was founded in 1983 and its first London Fashion Week was held a year later.

It is one of the four big catwalk fixtures alongside New York, Milan and Paris and is best known for its emerging talent and avant-garde trends, and where designers like the late Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney kicked off their careers.

Article continues after advertisement

“London’s always been famous for its extraordinary creativity and I would say that’s what sets it apart,” Lydia Slater, editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar UK, told Reuters.

“If you look at so many of the enormous, really successful fashion houses, they’re often headed up by British creatives who started here and who made their mark at London Fashion Week.”

Over the years, London has provided some key fashion highlights: from robots spray painting model Shalom Harlow’s white dress at McQueen’s Spring/Summer 1999 show to models transforming furniture into clothes at Hussein Chalayan’s autumn/winter 2000 presentation.