Costume Society Ambassadors, News, Reviews  |  March 6, 2015

London Fashion Weekend

After the excitement and glamour of London Fashion Week is packed away and the celebrities have jetted off to warmer places, Vodafone London Fashion Weekend can take over, and the exclusive set-up at Somerset House opens to the public.
Whilst London Fashion Week is an elite industry event, reminiscent of the effortlessly cool and groomed fashion professional, the Weekend is her laid-back younger sister with less money and a taste for all things loud, tacky and fun. Featuring Trend runway shows alongside Designer shows, the Weekend offers ticket holders a taster of what the Week is like. Visitors can attend shows and ogle the clothes, learn about the industry and listen to talks held by experts, and browse famous labels and discover unknown designers in the luxurious twisting corridors of Somerset House.
There was a great buzz to the courtyard - it was packed with visitors teetering around in high-heels sipping Prosecco.  The retail areas were packed with buyers and bargains, and were the perfect place to discover a new designer whilst they are still a small business.  The weekend is billed as an event which allows everyone access to the normally select fashion world; which it does - to a certain extent.
As would be expected from a consumer event, there focus is mostly on encouraging visitors to buy into what they see, rather than a desire to showcase the wilder side of the fashion world. Regardless of this, the runway shows were great fun. I have never seen a professional runway show before, and it is a noticeably different way to view garments. In the half-minute it takes a model to walk the runway, you have a pretty good idea of the fit, stretch, quality and practicality of a garment – which was a joy to see.
The Trend shows are curated, or ‘styled’, by the Outnet.com., who chose four looks; Hyper Florals, Make it Monochrome, Shimmer and Shine, and That Seventies Show. The majority of the pieces shown had been curated to tickle consumers’ fancy, but the brash suggestion at the end of the show for the audience to visit the Outnet.com’s trade stall and ‘Shop the Catwalk’ made it seem very disingenuous. It seemed as if the show just compounded the materialistic aspects of the fashion world, but didn’t manage to include the imagination and individuality of the creative forces behind the clothes.
The Designer shows were less about advertising individual pieces, and more about showcasing the ideas of the brand. The show I saw was by SIBLING, and it was brilliant. Imagine a sullen, teenage mini-mouse with can-can dancer legs terminating in neon running trainers-come-brogues. Eye-popping knits that were more slick attention grabbing pieces than cosy fall-backs – paired with obnoxiously large bows perched precariously on the models heads. There was something almost flapper girlesque in the way SIBLING had used features which overtly and traditionally signify femininity, such as bows and delicate knitted fabrics, but had mutated them into something much cooler and more rebellious. Pieces were either skin tight and revealing or shapeless and swamping the models frames, slight and understated or mutated and monstrous. I really felt like I came away from the show with a feel for the brand, which I probably wouldn’t have got from
I would definitely recommend anyone to go, it is a wonderful event, and a brilliant chance to experience a whole new way of viewing costume. Just maybe forget your purse.

Maddi Pultson, Costume Society Ambassador 2015

  • Somerset House
  • London Fashion weekend www.londonfashionweekend.com
  • Vodafone London Fashion Weekend
  • SIBLING SS/15 Image credit: catwalking.com

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