London Fashion Week And The Future of Fashion

“The LFW Outdoor Cinema. This season, LFW boasts its very own outdoor cinema featuring livestreaming from the LFW catwalks, fashion films and digital presentations from Hunter, McQ Alexander McQueen, SHOWstudio, Vogue and Zoe Jordan. Daily highlights and celebrity interviews will also be featured – alongside the LFW debut of the American Express ‘London Fashion Week Talk Series’.”

-LFW

London is a city which becomes immersed in marketable fashion and desirable collections. Designers, models, street-stylers, editors, and all other-folk alike, take to the streets, jump in cabs and dive onto the tube, in an attempt to get the most out of London Fashion Week.

For five days, everyone from J. JS Lee, to J.W.Anderson have collections to present. Some have shows, whilst others have static collections, previews or exhibitions. It’s easy to have a soft spot for London Fashion Week, perhaps, it’s because of the selection of designers, show-spaces and sponsors; or possibly it is because of the way in which almost the entire city has some part in the scheduling. This year, seems no different, other than Brewer Street (Soho) which is the new official BFC showspace, though just a stones throw away from Somerset House.

Joanne Stoker London, February 2015 #LFWend Photograph: Marianna Michael

The old, but new to the event, multistorey carpark of Brewer Street, will be heavily parked with the most fashionable names in town, and internationally, whilst the rest of duty remains nothing but desolate. Carnaby Street will be joining in, hosting a live-feed of the event showing the collections of designers including Peter Pilotto and Gareth Pugh. Certain shops will be holding promotions and from September 21,  inspiration behind Louis Vuitton’s autumn/winter collection will be unveiled at 180 The Strand for Louis Vuitton Series 3. Within thirteen rooms, Nicolas Ghesquiere and his team come together in a creative representation of history, craft, concept and style. Within the unassuming building, LED screens and some of the worlds most luxurious pieces will take stand until October 18 with varying opening times. 

Minnie Mouse will have her time to shine at an exhibition dedicated to the character (Blacks Club, 67 Dean Street, Soho, London W1D 4QH), and a selection of after-parties, fashion film screenings and celebrations will be taking place. It is no surprise that the city of London decorates itself with London Fashion Week menus, pop-up shops and billboards; after all, it is the city of some of the best fashion and art schools, and birthplace and home to many of the industry’s makers and shapers. This means that of course, Show Studio will be hosting a collection reports, whilst the recently appointment replacement of style.com, Vogue’s dedicated pages, will be some of the most visited sites of the season. 

But does Fashion have an ethical and sustainable future? Vivienne Westwood, Zandra Rhodes and Stella McCartney, are a few who certainly think so. 

House Of Holland, 2013 Photo: Marianna Michael

Only recently, Vivienne Westowood drove a tank to David Cameron’s home in a bold attempt against fracking. Though not in the name of fashion, but in sustaining the world that we live in, this joins a string of Westwood’s most recent accolades. Lush is joining her (18 September to 1 October 2015) in order to fight TTIP, described as the secret-dirty-deal, whilst another recent of climate revolution work is the Save The Arctic Exhibition. Westwood is closely followed by Stella McCartney, whose AW15 collection featured a special faux fur and keeping sustainability in the forefront of the season. 

“The smallest thing can have an impact. We are all living on this land with limited resources, and we all have to be conscious about how we consume and how we manufacture and how we source – and the fashion industry is no different than anyone else. Every industry has to be mindful of how they go forward in their business and sadly luxury fashion is incredible harmful – and fashion in general. And it needs to just a get a bit more modern and man up a bit.”

– Stella McCartney, The Telegraph 

Felder Felder have crept into sustainable style by working closely with the factory, whilst Livia Firth, in another round of her Green Carpet Collection, will unveil her work with London designer Erdem Moralioglu. The collaboration was announced at Berlin Fashion Week, and joins in the ranks of sustainable fashion for the future. But highlighting the issue through film, is British Vogue and Alexa Chung, who have teamed up for documentary series The Future of Fashion with Alexa Chung. The first instalment can be found here, along with Scarlett Conlon’s piece on the collaborative endeavour. This is not, however, the first film to highlight the issues. Show Studio have a dedicated page, whilst Andrew Morgan’s True Cost Movie, where Livia Firth herself, were executive producer, is a film of its sort which created more headlines than those previous. 

Stella McCartney AW15
Stella McCartney AW15

Some people wonder as to whether we can achieve a fully sustainable future. And though fully-sustainable may  be a far wider goal to reach, it is not impossible. The fashion and textiles industry is the second largest polluter worldwide. Dyes filtering into streams and rivers, water-usage for production, manufacturing and finishing process as well as the ethical side, constantly challenges the industry, its makers and its users.  

Over the years, new fabrics and technologies, and both creative innovators and activists, have come together, not to challenge the industry, but to challenge the notion that fashion can no longer lead a sustainable existence. Though a long and arduous process, a more conscious approach is necessary; from the stages which surround the raw material, to creating and delivering the finished product and its end uses. It is not completely illogical to be aware of what pesticides were once used to help grow the yarns that formed the fabric of your fully lined coat, or twisted and knotted dress.  

A few steps that can be taken, include: international regulation changes, sustainably managed animals, fair prices and up-cylcing; but in order to become fully sustainable and ethical, the steps that need to be taken will need to span far further.

“Sustainability is important, as is recycling. Everyone can do simple things to make a difference, and every little bit really does count.”

– Stella McCartney 

Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear Vivienne Westwood.  Photo| Style.com
Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear Vivienne Westwood.
Photo| Style.com

London Fashion week SS16  18th – 22nd September 2015

London Fashion Weekend runs from 24th – 27th September 2015

London Fashion Week AW16 19th – 23rd February 2016

SS14

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