London Fashion Week blog: autumn 2006

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Time Out's style gurus Maggie Davis and Katie Dailey report from the front line of fashion

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    It started almost thirty years ago with a few collections and a smattering of designer names, now London Fashion Week is one of the four key fashion capitals, wedged in between New York and Milan fashion weeks, and showcases the UK’s £4 billion clothing industry. But does it cut the mustard in the international arena, especially now that the illustrious names of the past from Alexander McQueen to Sophia Kokosalaki have quite sensibly buggered off to show abroad?

    Actually, yes. While the other capitals may lead the way professionally and commercially (no contest there) London is still the city that propagates new talent – that raw, energetic, experimental creativity you simply don’t find in such abundance anywhere else on earth. No doubt that’s what’s attracted the beady eye of Mr Giorgio Armani this autumn, who could do with a dash of London cool injected to his classic Italian fashion label. On Thursday, the penultimate evening of LFW, he’ll be hosting a fashion extravaganza, including a show, music performance and party, to launch his new Red label and celebrate the opening of a new London flagship store. Beyonce, 50 Cent and Alicia Keys will be providing the soundtrack.

    And in case you were wondering: Time Out NFI. Do we care? Nope, we’ll be concentrating ourefforts on other important things, like slurping copious amounts of free champagne and vodka cocktails and eating the mushroom and hollandaise canapés when more weight-conscious size 0 wannabes say no. We’ll also be looking forward to Bella Freud’s first collection for the relaunched iconic 1960s label Biba on Tuesday night, and veteran London designer of the pink hair and brilliant face-paint Zandra Rhodes showing a collection for the first time in 20 years. Those big names, along with the established, the newcomers and the desperate nobodies, is what makes London the vibrant fashion capital it is.

     

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