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Catwalks, Couture and Cara: it’s London Fashion Week

The press and general public (better known as consumers) take in this whirlwind of dresses, suits and new shoes. But in spite of the VIPs, invite-only shows and haute-couture, this is also fashion at its most democratic: where else can you dress as a space-viking?

London Fashion Week

London is in the premier league of fashion shows, one of the ‘Big Four’ which also includes New York, Milan and Paris. It began quite late compared to its main rivals, launching only in 1984, with New York fashion week first emerging at the start of the 20th century and officially launching in 1942. Milan and Paris were inaugurated in the post-war period, and today still dominate the European fashion scene. However, London’s show quickly rose to prominence, setting a lighter and more approachable tone to the rigid haute-couture of the French fashion houses.

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For the third year running the main show will take place in Soho’s Brewer Street car park, adding a nice bit of ‘shabby’ to the otherwise chic operation. It’s become a tradition for street photographers to mill around outside the shows, snapping shots of anyone and anything deemed suitable for the army of bloggers, journalists and officials who attend the invite-only shows. Tradition also dictates that to be worth a photo requires something unusual, original or, simply, ridiculous.

A growing trend is for designers to release their clothes to be sold immediately, as opposed to months ahead. This week’s event is officially known as SS17 for spring and summer in 2017, but some houses will release their lines for autumn this year. One thing that never changes is that it is the people as much as the clothes that are on show.
Topshop’s event

often draws some of the biggest names including Jourdan Dunn, Lily Donaldson and, of course, Cara Delevingne.

Strange, bizarre, barmy: there are more than enough ways to describe the pinnacle of the UK’s fashion scene, but this is what makes the whole circus so enthralling. We can’t wait. (And we weren’t lying about the space-viking)