LFW: The Guide

For fashionistas, London Fashion Week (LFW) is the first date in the 2017 calendar. For us normalistas, the A-list only front rows of the highly anticipated designer shows are more of a fantasy; however this Freedom Guide will show how you can be involved in all the action, even from your sofa at home.

Firstly, some key information. The British Fashion Council, organisers of the event, announced its new home to be The Store Studios at 180, The Strand, in central London. The LFW Festival, which is open to the general public, is also changing. The city-wide event will allow shoppers direct access to designers, industry influencers and people on the inside. The main focus of the new and improved festival is a ticketed event also hosted at The Store Studios. Over 150 international and British designers will show their new products through pop up stores, flooding the location. Many of these pop up shows will be promoting the ‘buy-it-now’ trend; a relatively new marketing strategy allowing the public to literally buy what they see. An online article, for instance, will contain links directing the reader to a website, and the chance to purchase items seen in the photographs. This has now been extended to the catwalk. Top Shop announced their runway retail collection last year, whilst M&S also unveiled a ‘buy now’ business model too. Beyond the High Street, luxury design house Burberry launched their buy-it-now collections at LFW 2016 in September.

Now, onto the main event. For those hoping to sort some tickets or blag their way into an after-party, here’s what you need to know.

When is London Fashion Week?
The LFW 2017 commences February 17 until February 21, with the Festival running February 23-26.

Where will it be hosted?
The main bulk of events will take place at these venues across central London:
BFC Show Space – The Store Studios, 180 Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
BFC Presentation Space - The Store Studios, 180 Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
TopShop Show Space – Tate Modern Turbine Hall, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
The Painting Rooms Presentation – Hosted by The Royal Society of Arts, Durham House Street, London, WC2H 6HG
ON¦OFF – Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, SE1 9PH

What should I be streaming?
Friday 17th February
4pm – DAKS. DAKS has combined its renowned tailoring skills with directional fashion trends. Using superb fabrics that are exclusively coloured and incorporating the latest fabric compositions and weaving techniques, DAKS are one of a prestigious few brands used by the Royal Family.
6:30pm – Preen. Brought together by a shared love of Victoriana, Preen was launched to great success in 1996 by Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi. They are presenting a short film to launch the Pre-Fall 2017 collection, its inspiration being early 1990s New York rave culture.
8pm – Central Saint Martins MA. One for aspiring fashion students. MA Fashion is the only course that shows on the official LFW schedule. Alumni from the course include Alexander McQueen, Roksanda and Mary Katrantzou. See the future here.

Saturday 18th February
11am – Fashion East. A pioneering non-profit initiative established by Lulu Kennedy and the Old Truman Brewery in 2000. The Fashion East scheme champions emerging designers.
1pm – Julien Macdonald. OBE Julien Macdonald studied fashion knitwear at the University of Brighton and received his MA at Royal College of Art, London. His must watch show will cover a stunning series of sequinned, feathered and cut-out dresses. Not to be missed.
4pm – J.W.Anderson. Regarded as one of London’s most innovative and forward thinking brands. Its unique design aesthetic offers a modern interpretation of masculinity and femininity and his idiosyncratic perspective means his shows are always much anticipated.

Sunday 19th February
10am – Anya Hindmarch. The queen of bags and accessories, Hindmarch’s shows are always flooded with creation and innovation.
2pm – TopShop Unique – Great for celeb spotting. Expect big names hitting the catwalk with viewers now able to buy some of the collection online.
5pm – David Koma. Georgian born, London based, Koma has become synonymous with the ultra body contouring silhouette. His stamp on the industry has been amplified through sculptural dresses inspired by the feminine from. One to watch for party animals.
7pm – Mary Katrantzou. This beautiful Greek designer has taken the fashion world by storm. Launching her brand in 2008, Mary is now one of the biggest and most successful womenswear designers in the industry. Her thematic collections revolve around luxury and the filtered beauty within.

Monday 20th February
11am – ERDEM. Established in London in 2005 the designer ready-to-wear brand is synonymous with versatile yet powerful femininity and is popular with everyone from Kate Middleton to Sienna Miller and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. You'll no doubt see the designer's influence all over the high street next season.
1:30pm – Shrimps. A fashion label from the young London-based designer, Hannah Weiland, launched in 2013. Using carefully sourced fabrics that emphasise colour and texture, Weiland creates unique, beautifully crafted pieces, perfect for the forward-thinking customer with a taste for the fun in fashion.
7:30pm – Burberry. More celebrities, so a must for those interested in the front row action,. For those looking for a best blag, Burberry Post Show drinks will be held directly after.

Tuesday 21st February
12pm – Marques’ Almeida. Both Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida trained in womenswear and subscribe to the Helmut Lang’s doctrine that ‘fashion is about attitude, not hemlines’.
2:30pm – Xiao Li. Pushing boundaries – knitwear meets silicone – Xiao Li is best known for her witty commentary on current fashions, using colourful, voluminous shapes, and innovative yarns and textures.


Where can you stream the shows?
Anywhere. The BFC will be streaming selected shows live on their website. Be sure to tune in!