The British Fashion Council (BFC) must have decided two London Fashion Weeks a year just isn’t enough, as it’s added a third event to this year’s calendar.
The inaugural digital-first London Fashion Week (LFW) took place in June 2020: it experimented with virtual formats, and was the first time the event combined menswear and womenswear.
Since then, LFW has got into the groove of digital presentations, as Covid-related restrictions have meant normal shows couldn’t go ahead in September or February.
Just released – #LFW provisional schedule! From Saturday 12 June to Monday 14 June, #LFW will celebrate the cultural commentary and creativity for which British fashion and London are known for. Explore the schedule via https://t.co/xTCYkAHaZU #LFWClearpay pic.twitter.com/R33s1JMPVX
— London Fashion Week (@LondonFashionWk) May 21, 2021
It’s unclear why the BFC has decided to continue with a June fashion week, but it will no doubt provide us with plenty of summer outfit inspiration.
When’s it happening?
From June 12-14. Similar to the previous pandemic LFWs, it will be a digital first event – meaning most of the shows will be live-streamed on the LFW website.
It comes hot on the heels of the Institute of Positive Fashion Forum (IPF Forum) on June 10, and LFW will “emphasise the three IPF pillars: Environment, People and Community & Craftsmanship”.
So will it be all online?
Not entirely. The emphasis will be on video presentations, but there will also be “a number of Covid-secure physical activations in line with Government guidelines”. Restrictions are still in place in England, but a small number of people are allowed at events, so this might look more like the catwalk shows we’re used to.
Details on these physical events are limited – on the schedule they include Reuben Selby Show & Party Evening Event and The London Seven Collective. LCF Graduate Screening Evening Event.
A lot of the biggest names are missing – Burberry, Victoria Beckham, Erdem, Richard Quinn and Temperley London won’t be showing collections. It’s understandable: it’s already a lot of work for designers to produce two collections a year, so perhaps adding a third would take them over capacity.
However, there’s still a lot to get excited about. Bethany Williams will be showcasing her brand of colourful, geometric menswear on the Saturday; Preen by Thornton Bregazzi will no doubt give us some romance on Sunday; and on Monday all eyes will be on Ahluwalia, this year’s recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design.
Anything else to watch out for?
Auroboros – the ‘science/tech couture house creating for both the physical and digital worlds’ – will be showing its first collection at LFW.
We’re not entirely sure what to expect, but Auroboros could be a glimpse into the future of fashion – its Saturday show, in collaboration with the DiscoveryLab program, will definitely be worth a look.
What happens next for fashion week?
If all goes to plan, LFW will be back in September with a combination of physical and virtual events, “marking a long-awaited cultural reopening of London”.
In the meantime, other cities are tentatively returning to in-person shows – Milan and Paris are hoping to welcome guests for Men’s Fashion Week later in June. This might very well be the last digital fashion week we see.