Who'll wear who and where: What to expect from London Fashion Week 2016
What will the trends be? Where can you see them? Your guide to upcoming LFW 2016 shows
Now in its 32nd year, London Fashion Week has some predictable elements, we admit: sunglasses, debates about models, armies of bloggers. But of all the 'big four' (the others being New York, Milan and Paris) it's definitely most surprising, the kookiest and supplies the craziest upcoming fashion trends. London, you've got it in spades. Whatever 'it' is.
Here's you ultimate guide to all you can expect from London Fashion Week- trends and tips for the September Shows.
Unpredictable: London climate
We're not talking about the weather. London Fashion Week is - as Sunday Times writer Pandora Sykes told us in an interview - 'mostly bonkers'. Paris can keep its 'Chanel Airways'- a whole airport terminal designed around the brand, and Milan can keep Dolce and Gabbana (though it'd be nice to borrow Gucci). London isn't ruled by ateliers and the wrath of Karl Lagerfield's perfect cat.
Instead, London is ruled by street style, NEWGEN designers and brute optimism about Spring Summer 2017 even when the weather's being sulky.
Chanel catwalk Paris- where the models had their own airline and luggage
Predictable: street style
For capturing the zeitgeist of London, the real catwalk is outside before the shows, where women pose on the pavements for photographers and passing cars. Though London is no-holds-barred wacky, you can spot some common denominators:
On the off-duty models, look out for feet practically aglow in iridescently white trainers. Shout Bingo! if you spot elaborate plaits- a scalp-twingeing hangover of Laura Trott's Olympic hairdo in the velodrome.
On bloggers, expect: chokers, gold boots, and iron-on patches from Itchy Scratchy Patchy adorning their jeans.
On 40-something owners of online shopping websites: look out for pieces of Gucci's geek chic blouses and glasses, plus coordinated outfits- either done with artful sloppiness in tracksuits or perfectly in sync in velvet trouser suits.
Itchy Scratchy Patchy patches for denim, co-designed by model Edie Campbell- seen on a blogger near you
Unpredictable: new trends
To spot trends, you either need to go to every show and be a fashion editor, or go to none of the shows and therefore escape the influence of seeing crazy Christopher Kane and mistakenly thinking that everyone in the world is going to start wearing dresses made of ribbons. Not knowing what will come up is all part of the fun, but we like to think that SS17 will feature handkerchief hems, tracksuits triumphantly replacing pyjamas as loungewear, more people taking up the Tommy Hilfiger crochet we saw last year, some kind of boring take on florals- and perhaps the death of the grunge slip dress.
One to watch- Ryan Lo a love for all things dreamy shaped AW16- how much more springlike will SS17 be?
Predictable: The Fashion Front Row
A delightfully awkward mix of bloggers, editors, models and celebrities all crossing their legs the same way, the FROW will either be frowning in concentration or looking like the best friends in the world.
Star studded- a front row, featuring Kate Moss, Vanessa Kirby and Alexa Chung
Unpredictable: London's exciting young designers
Despite the need to predict SS17 trends, no one really knows what designers will do next. We can hope that Helen Lawrence will do something wonderful with yarn again, and that Ryan Lo will continue to work with printed silks to create structure out of something so very airy. The most exciting designers are new and visionary and we don't know how their talent will turn for summer 2017.
Last season we loved Eudon Choi, and Marques'Almedia. This year, look out especially for the breakout stars of BFC NEWGEN generation. This year, Frankfurt-born Paula Knorr will be joining the likes of Ryan Lo to receive NEWGEN sponsorship - she's already nailed the velvet trend with a futuristic take on seventies and ruffles like you've never seen them before (except, perhaps on a cuttlefish). Plus, the ultimate seal of approval, Bjork has bought her outfits.
Young designer Paula Knorr's last collection
Predictable: the internet will break
On Monday shows for the biggest names happen: including Christopher Kane, Rocksanda, Erdem, and Burberry. Due to live streaming and instantly shoppable collections the internet might well explode. Heavyweights like the Burberry show, closing Monday's proceedings, will cause chaos- especially since once again the collection is instantly available for purchase. Erdem will do something beautiful with their dresses that will make you lust for a fashion party to attend. For the first time, Topshop is making their catwalk instantly shoppable too. You can live stream at the official LFW website live stream, or find the pictures everywhere else. There are outdoor screens across London too, including at Carnaby Street, where there are heaps of events and discounts, too.
Erden AW16 Collection
Jigsaw is making its first appearance at London Fashion Week by debuting an 'A Line' collection. We're dubious about Jigsaw's high fashion credentials, and no one really likes A-Line skirts at the moment, making the name, which denotes its price point rather than a style, unfortunate. But we might eat our words - the cocktail reception on is at the Shop at Bluebird, Kings Road - so they must be doing something right.
Jigsaw's new A Line collection launching at LFW
Predictable: A confusing list of sponsors
The list, like last year, includes Mercedes Benz and Lavazza coffee and that item so ubiquitous it doesn't even count as fashion - sunglasses from Sunglasses Hut. But here's hoping for unexpected perks: whilst you might not get a free car you might get a decent coffee at a pop-up Lavazza bar. For the LFW's little sister, London Fashion Week End, you can pick up an official tote that's pink and pretty and designed by Sophia Webster.
The Sophia Webster London Fashion Weekend Tote
Unpredictable- The venues
Some venues rightly stay the same this year. Somerset House will be a hub, and there'll also be a buzz around Central St Martins in Kings Cross and the London College of Fashion on Oxford Street. Many of the events will be held at Brewer Street Carpark, an Art Deco space over two floors in the heart of Soho. But once again excitement surrounds Topshop Unique. Last year, the show was held at the slightly tired Tate Britain, but this year it's at exciting Old Spitalfields Market- a favourite week end browsing site of trendy Londoners.
Topshop Unique at Tate Britain last Spring
Predictable: the fashion stalwarts
You have a high chance of spotting Alexa Chung, Edie Campbell, Anna Wintour or a grand fashion dame like Vivienne Westwood, who this year is using Friday night at LFW to relaunch her rocking horse shoe. Rock on.
Alexa Chung at the last London Fashion Week