Even though catwalk shows with their theatrical effect are what usually guests at the LFW look forward to the most, I really enjoyed the intimate experience of designer showrooms. For example, collection from yesterday’s show of Huishan Zhang is already on display here and I was able to see it up close, enjoying intricate detailing and miniature prints. I also met and enjoyed chatting with a number of British and international designers. Among them were fun-loving Chinese clothing and accessories designer Yang Du; Smriti from Saloni, a brand by talented India-born Saloni Lodha; shoe designer and possibly next Jimmy Choo, Kim Kwang; and jeweller Imogen Belfield, whose designs are experimentalist and fashion-forward. At the end of the day, I felt simply inspired and happy to have seen so much talent in one space, some of which we hope to highlight in our magazine’s upcoming issues.
Today, while fashion editors, bloggers and everyone else queued for the shows or leisurely sipped coffee in the lounge areas, I decided to check out infamous LFW showrooms. Armed with LFW’s ‘Little Black Book’ that has information on all participating designers and coveted press pass, I scouted the premises of the Exhibition space (open to media and buyers only). (Originally published on www.agi.com)
I began my tour with the BFC Press Lounge that hosts Toni&Guy Blow Out Bar, which offers last minute hair styling services, and M.A.C. Media Lounge, where UK and international media professionals can get exclusive information on designers and their shows, work on their latest news updates, relax, and even get a quick make-over by the make-up experts. Interestingly, LFW is so much about media coverage that besides Press and Photographers Centres, first rows in the catwalk tent are equipped with chargers for various electronic equipment, be it mobile phone, digital camera or an iPad. LFW organizers make sure that no dead battery slows down fashion reporting!
Like any big gathering of industry professionals, LFW is more than just glitzy catwalk shows, fashion blogging and trendsetters’ pageantry in the courtyard. It is also about networking and doing business, i.e. business of selling latest collections to buyers so that clothes reach stores in time for the new season. It is also about getting exposure, building professional connections and sharing experiences.
The Exhibition at LFW this year houses 110 designers, 30 of which are new designers. Different sections of the Exhibit space are set up under different themes. For example, BFC NEWGEN sponsored by Topshop section highlights new and emerging UK designers, BFC Rock Vault showcases collections of 12 amazing jewellery designers, while Estethica section houses collections by eco-conscious British designers.