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5 reasons why London Fashion Week is the best in the world

Forget New York and Paris, London's fashion scene is the real winner

By Katie Rosseinsky
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It’s time to stop the ever-so British self-deprecation. We might be slightly biased, but London fashion is bloody brilliant, and the capital’s ‘anything goes’ approach to style makes London Fashion Week the standout star of fashion month, season after season. Here’s why…

RECOMMENDED: London Fashion Week: the guide

Clements Ribeiro Catwalk for the London Fashion Week AW13
© Alessio Paratore

1. The catwalk line-up is unrivalled

Season after season, the BFC puts on a stunner of a line-up that’s dazzling in its breadth. London’s show schedule boasts super brands like Burberry (and, for this season, Versace), iconoclastic grande dames like Vivienne Westwood and Zandra Rhodes, rule-breakers like Gareth Pugh and Ryan Lo and it-crowd favourites like House of Holland and J.W. Anderson. Phew. It’s also one of the few fashion weeks that you can sort-of afford to shop from, with high street brands like Topshop and Whistles regularly making catwalk appearances. 

READ MORE: Ten unmissable shows at London Fashion Week

backstage at Fashion East
Photo: Elisabeth Blanchet

2. It's a springboard for new talent

London’s pretty good at nurturing its rising fashion stars. Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East acts as an incubator for promising designers, providing them with funding and mentoring and helping them out with their first fashion shows. The fairy godmother of the capital’s fashion scene, Kennedy’s success stories include Jonathan Saunders, House of Holland, Gareth Pugh and Holly Fulton. There’s also the super-prestigious NEWGEN scheme, a talent-spotting programme set up by the BFC that launched the careers of household names like Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson.

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3. The street style is genuinely insane

Whilst New York Fashion Week is populated by glossily coiffed, preppy types and Paris is home to Celine-toting minimalists, London’s street style scene veers towards the eccentric. Some of the best fashion can be seen outside the show venues, where peacocking bloggers take turns to photograph each other in self-consciously flamboyant garb. Last season, we spotted a particularly adventurous street-style wannabe cradling a tote shaped like a velociraptor. So if you fancy rocking up to Brewer Street Car Park in a floor length fur coat with a Tudor ruff (very Giles AW15), then don’t hold back. 

4. The show venues are weird but wonderful

London Fashion Week has taken place at some of the capital’s best looking venues, from the Natural History Museum to Somerset House.  From Friday, though, the fashion crowd will be flocking to… Brewer Street Car Park in Soho. Yep.  We’re not sure why, but if any city can pull off hosting the most glamorous event of the year in a working NCP, it has to be London. However, the capital isn’t short of beautiful backdrops, and many designers will choose to showcase their wares elsewhere, whether it’s Gareth Pugh in the gothic galleries of the V&A, Matthew Williamson at the Tate Modern or Julien Macdonald in the suitably bling-tastic Royal Opera House.

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5. The whole city gets involved

We hate to break it to you, but unless your surname is Delevingne, you’re a minor Kardashian or, failing that, had a bit-part in Made in Chelsea (but left after season 4 to concentrate on your fashion career, of course), blagging your way into a show is pretty darn difficult. Thankfully, though, there’s plenty on the agenda that us mere mortals can attend. London Fashion Weekend offers an experience that’s near-identical to the real deal, while mega-brands Louis Vuitton and Disney are both hosting style exhibitions – where entry is completely free. Topshop and Burberry will be live-streaming catwalk shows at their central London flagship stores, and you’ll find celebratory discounts and deals across Carnaby Street, too. 

READ MORE: The top ten events at London Fashion Week

Read more London Fashion Week 2015

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