As we continue descending into the spring/summer 2024 fashion season, London Fashion Week is swiftly approaching, with a schedule that is set to run from September 15 to 19.
What makes this season a definitive ‘one-to-watch’ for the British fashion capital is the renewed vision and mission of the occasion, which had been outlined by the British Fashion Council (BFC) ahead of London’s June 2023 men’s edition, where a schedule of just six designers left the industry scratching its head. However, the hybrid format was an intentional choice, marking the beginning of a “transition period” which will see the BFC reposition itself towards local talent in a bid to amplify the UK’s own industry.
In addition to this, it was revealed later in June that the UK government was to support LFW as part of its Creative Industries package, with the organisation to receive two million pounds in funding, acknowledging the region’s “excellence in holding international showcase events”. The package will support the fashion week from 2023 to 2025, enabling the BFC to “amplify” the work of the British fashion industry.
Emerging designers lead the way
Such efforts are already present for SS24, which is jam-packed with new names and emerging designers that make up a bulk of the schedule. This is mirrored in the slew of debuts set to take the stage in London this season, including Eirinn Hayhow, Pīferi, Spencer Badu and SRVC. Holzweiler is another to step into LFW limelight for the first time, swapping its usual Copenhagen Fashion Week home for a more international platform.
As always, the BFC NewGen line up is to continue in its backing of up-and-coming names. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the initiative will return to The Old Selfridges show space, where a number of participating designers will be presenting their collections, including Chet Lo, Conner Ives, Feben and Helen Kirkum. This year also marks the NewGen premieres of LVMH Prize finalist Aaron Esh and Kerala-born designer Harri, who has previously gone viral for his inflatable latex attire.
Fashion East, another LFW incubator regular, is once again preparing to set its stage for emerging designers with its own showcase. Central Saint Martins’ Olly Shinder will be making his debut, alongside Johanna Parv, who is returning following an AW23 show where she presented a functional take on couture. Michael Stewart’s Standing Ground will be another to participate in Fashion East, offering up a futuristic perspective of luxury.
Regulars and fashion veterans draw eyes of industry
While it is clear there will be a particular emphasis on emerging names for the season, the line up is still noticeably brimming with a number of regulars who will likely draw in the crowds for the fashion week. Among them are JW Anderson, Erdem, Eudon Choi, Roksanda, Richard Quinn and Simone Rocha, as well as Burberry, where Daniel Lee will return with what has been speculated to be his most extensive collection to date for the heritage house.
There will also be a handful of celebrated returnees taking to the schedule once again. This year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner 16Arlington is one of those. The label, founded by Marco Capaldo and the late Federica ‘Kikka’ Cavenati, received the award’s 150,000 pound cash prize and mentoring opportunities earlier this year to support its growth. Meanwhile, Supriya Lele and Ashish are also to return with shows on Monday following a short hiatus from the past few seasons.
Other notable events taking place during the week include the UK debut of Mains, a brand launched by Skepta. The British-Nigerian grime artist will be reviving the line in an off-schedule show on September 16, with the collection designed by both himself and Mains’ new chief designer Mikey Pearce. It comes after the brand was plunged into a four-year hibernation after its initial launch in 2017, with it only being recently that teasers of a new collection were spotted on the star, who had been seen sporting new designs at Wimbledon and Silverstone.
Additionally, eyes will also be set on what industry veteran Stuart Trevor will be bringing to the table. The founder and former chief executive officer of AllSaints revealed that he would be launching a new eponymous brand during fashion week, to “prove that you can build a clothing brand that doesn’t produce any clothing”. Pieces to be included in the collection are to involve an array of circular techniques that follow a “less is more” mindset, with the likes of recycled cotton t-shirts and hoodies having already been teased on the brand’s Instagram.