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The Sights & Sounds of London Fashion Week 2010

Published 24 February 2010

London is an old and beautifully designed city. Both modern and traditional architecture litter the skyline and the streets. Fashion week takes full advantage of London’s historic buildings and adds a little glamour to theses otherwise elegant surroundings. The most notable sights and sounds at London Fashion Week (LFW) were flashing light bulbs, celebrities, clothes (a lot of clothes) and the phrase “Can I take your picture?”

But the more interesting sights are definitely the locations of both the catwalk shows and the designer exhibitions. While Somerset House’s courtyard, Freemasons’ Hall, Victoria House and Flower Cellars are temporary homes for runways this week among other venues; Embankment Galleries, the East and South wings of Somerset House and Victoria House host the designer exhibitions.

During LFW there are plenty of events taking place outside of fashion week’s well-heeled beaten track, as well as in the thick of it. Monday night was the Elle Style Awards, which was only up the road from Fashion Scout’s catwalk venue, Freemasons’ Hall. Even though the site was supposed to be secret for Elle’s awards event, on my way to the Hall it was pretty hard to miss the mass of paparazzi gathered around the entrance of the Grand Connaught Rooms.

Freemason’s Hall is also the LFW headquarters of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, a brilliant initiative that promotes diversity in fashion. Founded by Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor, this initiative already has serious star power behind it from its founders’ reputations alone. It is refreshing to find that diversity for them is not just about recognising different sizes but also recognises different ages and colours in fashion.

Victoria House in Bloomsbury was home to this years On/Off show, which closed its doors with a bang yesterday (Monday). On/Off is an independent fashion show case and a unique platform for designers to showcase their collections. I was nearly knocked over by Peaches Geldof as she left the Pam Hogg show (to be fair, in her heels she is about a foot taller than me and she probably didn’t see me). Jodie Harsh was also in attendance. This was an exciting space that attracted exhibitions from bright vibrant designers. The recent death of Alexander McQueen was commemorated with a wall in his honour at On/Off as well as a tribute board at Somerset House.

Somerset House is the British Fashion Council’s HQ. In the Courtyard, which is used for various events throughout the year from ice-skating in the winter to an outdoor cinema in the summer, you will find the press lounge (my home away from home for the last two days) and the British Fashion Council’s Catwalk Space. The historic rooms of this old house have been made into exhibition space for LFW. Below Somerset House you will find Embankment Galleries, which is being used as a presentation and exhibition space. Victoria House also had an exhibition space to showcase designers. It is in these rooms that you will be introduced to shoe, bag, hat, jewellery and clothes designers exhibiting current and upcoming fall/winter lines. It is also is in these rooms that the fashion team has been put to task, meeting designers and taking a sneak peak at their lines for next winter.

I can’t speak for the rest of the fashion team but I personally have developed a strong and unhealthy attachment to the bags in Ally Capellino and Patrick Cox’s A/W 2010 collection, Beatrix Ong’s shoes, Elizabeth Laus, Emesha , Lowie and Makepiece’s knits, Geargina Hardinge & Henrietta Ludgate’s evening wear, and Joanna Cave’s Jewellery. Thankfully, my exhibition duties are done for the week so I will no longer be tortured by things I cannot have for a while.

Only 7 more months to go till London Fashion Week for the 2011 spring/summer collections!

Article written by Ayo Tijani.
London Fashion Week 2010 was also covered by the rest of our dedicated fashion team – Jonida Gashi, Clemance Chesne, Danielle Elizabeth Malin, Tope Tijani, and Sade Samthen.