The woman who’s had more image changes than Dr Sam Beckett in ‘Quantum Leap’ is launching her own line for high street chain River Island – presumably having exhausted the clothing options available at retailers across the globe. She’s debuting her collection with a catwalk show at Somerset House, and it’s currently the hot ticket of the week. Will she sit demurely in her own front row, á la Victoria Beckham? We suspect not. We fully expect her to stomp defiantly down her own runway, and scare the blow-dries off the front row.
SHOP The collection will be in River Island stores from March 5. But will it include umbrellas?
London thrashes New York
American masters Tom Ford, L’Wren Scott and Todd Lynn are all coming to Blighty to show their wares for the first time this week – proof, if ever we needed it (we didn’t), that London trounces its Yankee cousins in the style stakes. Ford’s shows are almost pathologically secretive (he handpicks a tiny crew of journalists, bans cameras and tweets, and gets celeb mates like Beyoncé and Julianne Moore to model). While we’ll be reliant on Beyoncé to report back to us, we suspect the show will be a blinder.
SHOP Tom Ford’s first UK store opens in London later this year.
Cheap clothes punch above their weight
Topshop already has one of the most star-packed, anticipated shows of the week – last season Time Out sat within spitting distance of Naomi Campbell, Alexa Chung and Anna Wintour (and no we didn’t). Now River Island (see above) and Whistles are previewing autumn collections at LFW. So you can plan your shopping list well in advance.
BUY Topshop Unique’s latest catwalk collection is available in store now at Oxford Circus.
Insane street style
We all know that the most creative outfitting, insane hairdos and excessive accessorisation takes place on the cobbles. Twice a year, the fashion community throw out the rule book and do everything they can to style for the cameras. It’s a joy and a fright to behold.
SEE Our streetstyle gallery is at www.timeout.com/style
Britain’s got young talent
What do the Duchess of Cambridge, Dita Von Teese and Lady Gaga have in common? (Apart from being featured topless in print.) They’ve all fallen for the considerable talents of our world-class fashion designers – the straight-out-of-Dalston set that includes Christopher Kane, Richard Nicoll and Jonathan Saunders. While other capitals rely on long-established fashion houses to pull in the crowds, London comes up with new heavyweights every season.
BUY JW Anderson, winner of the British Fashion Council’s Emerging Talent award, has his own line for Topshop in store now.
Glam rocks again
After skipping a few seasons – not to count his Designers at Debenhams millions but to build one of London’s only couture ateliers – Julien Macdonald is back. The man who probably sprinkles Swarovski crystals on his cornflakes left a glittery hole in our hearts when he stopped doing catwalk – not many designers would send Spice Girls down the runways in lieu of models and tell animal rights protesters that ‘people who don’t like fur can piss off’. Controversy aside, his recent designs marked a return to the incredibly crafted knitwear and intricate gowns that made his name.
BUY The Julien Macdonald catwalk collection will be in stores in the autumn.
Wool: so hot right now
The way-more-interesting-than-it-sounds Woolmark prize launched the careers of both Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in the 1950s. The prize – which includes £65,000 plus floor space in Harvey Nichols – is awarded to a designer for their mastery of knitwear by an all-star panel of judges which, this year, includes Victoria Beckham and Donatella Versace.
SEE Wool House, a free exhibition of amazing yarn craft, is at Somerset House March 13-24.
You can see it from the sofa
The ones to watch
London Fashion Week is when we all get to play ‘spot the next top dog’. If young designers are well received here, chances are they’ll be picked up by daring boutique Browns Focus the following season, or bag a deal with Topshop. And before you can say ‘Michelle Obama’s summer wardrobe’ they’ll be a household name – like first lady favourite Erdem and club kid costumier House of Holland. Keep your eyes peeled for Fashion East’s showcase on Monday – an incubator that takes young designers and gives them the exposure and funding to turn into retail butterflies.
SHOP Lulu Kennedy punts the designs of former Fashion Easters at www.luluandco.co.uk.
You are invited!
Coinciding with the official LFW calendar, there are numerous retail events, shows and pop-ups taking place which, if you like to set trends, make this the most exciting time of year to be in London.
See our London Fashion Week events calendar for more.
Your guide to London Fashion Week
Provenance is a butcher’s shop in Notting Hill run by a bunch of young enthusiasts who gave up desk jobs to train as butchers and charcutiers. Struan Robertson is the founder, an alumnus of the School of Artisan Food in Welbeck, Nottinghamshire. The rest of the team – Tom Gibson, Guy Gibson, and Erin Hurst – are all Kiwis, which partly explains the grass-fed wagyu beef burgers from New Zealand that are flying out the doors in barbecue weather. A lot of the meats are value-added, such as marinated whole chickens and lamb kebabs, to offer what Struan calls ‘meal solutions’ for local shoppers (well, he is a former advertising man). The meats are all free range, the charcuterie supplied by British makers. Give it a look.