The five best London fashion events (beyond the delights of London Fashion Week)
London has a reputation for being one of the most fashionable cities on the planet and its lively calendar of events attracts fashionistas from all over the globe.
‘London fashion events look like they are stuck in the 1950s!’
I couldn’t believe that this opinion came out of my friend’s mouth. After all, London has a reputation for being one of the most fashionable cities on the planet and its lively calendar of events attracts fashionistas from all over the globe.
‘I mean everything is so centred on the twin peaks in February and September provided by London Fashion Week,’ she continued. ‘If you chart the number of events on offer over the year, they look exactly like a 1950s bullet bra.’
She did have a point.
As exciting as the talks, shows and experiences of the London Fashion Week Festival are, there is an abundance of other events throughout the year that are sure to inspire.
To prove a point or two (ahem), we decided to chart the five best London fashion events that exist entirely separate from Fashion Week.
And here they are (beautifully decorated by the fashion illustrations of Camih and Scott W Mason).
Five of the top London fashion events throughout the year
Central St Martins graduate show
From May to September 2019
Central St Martins
It’s nigh on impossible to get more up and coming than to visit the graduate fashion show of Central St Martins. The list of alumni here reads like a Who’s Who of fashion: Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Matthew Williamson, and Zac Posen, to name-drop a few. At this year’s graduating classes, you get a taste of fashion’s future as you admire the challenging and intelligent designs from the faces of tomorrow.
Graduate Fashion Week
2nd – 5th June 2019
The Old Truman Brewery
Not related to the higher-profile events of London Fashion Week, Graduate Fashion Week showcases all the very best students and graduates from the most influential 60 universities around the world. Having proven its worth for more than 25 years, this is deservedly now a certified institution in the London Fashion world.
If you want to mingle behind the scenes of the catwalks and exhibitions you can sign up to be a volunteer and help with the event organising.
The Great Hat Exhibition
3rd – 7th April 2019
Taking its name from the Great Exhibition of 1851 certainly sets expectations high for London Hat Week’s celebration of milliners and hat design.
Showcasing hundreds of hats from designers all over the world, this year the theme is ‘World Garden’: expect fashionable headwear incorporating exotic, exquisite, intriguing flowers and plants.
Spaces are limited so book your place early!
Events and exhibitions at the V&A
Victoria & Albert Museum
Aside from its beautiful location, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s permanent collection repays visit after visit and it plays host to a series of stimulating one-off events focussed on fashion.
Our eyes, however, were caught by a series of unmissable upcoming exhibitions. These include Christian Dior, Mary Quant and an immersive journey into the curious and fantastical worlds created by photographer Tim Walker.
Swinging London – A Lifestyle Revolution
8th February – 2nd June 2019
The Fashion and Textile Museum
The final event that we’ve picked, however, suggests that there may indeed be something in the idea that London fashion events are stuck in the 50s. With Mary Quant over at the V&A and this Swinging London exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum, it looks like the 50s are indeed exerting some pull and getting channelled. The exhibition focuses on the fashion, design and art of the Chelsea Set, whose radical young members redefined the concept of youth as they challenged the established order of London in the 1950s.
Get in with the in-crowd!
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