40 years of London Fashion Week: Highlights & Standout Moments

London Fashion Week (LFW) is a decadent platform that echoes the power of classic haute couture. Over the past few decades, LFW has become a melting pot for global designers to showcase their mastery of the art. Connecting fashion with global issues and becoming a key driver for fashion industry growth in the UK. This season and month mark a fine 40 years of London Fashion Week.

LFW’s success over the 40 years is thanks to its excellent programming that supports new talent. It brings on board organizations like Fashion Scout, Global Fashion Collective, and others for its Newgen programme supporting global emerging designers. While the classic haute couture takes centre stage, the emerging talent showcase has become a mecca for Gen Z’s attention and critical acclaim for LFW.

This edition of LFW had a showcase from 67 designers, including several emerging and debut designers.

7 Leading Highlights from the LFW Showcase

1. Darker shades of red

The New York Times highlights one of the key trends coming out from LFW is the many hues of red. While scarlet red may have become passe, burgundy to oxblood is taking centre stage. Red is becoming deeper, darker, sensual, and more indulgent for brands to bring an aura of wealth, power, and status. The dark shades of red are bringing out a classic and understated lady look.

Designers such as Roksanda, Edeline Lee (a British Canadian designer), Emilia Wickstead (a New Zealand designer), Chet Lo, and Molly Goddard were seen showcasing the many shades of ruby red, burgundy, oxblood, and more to bring out the richness in their collections.

2. Burberry showcase

All eyes were set on Daniel Lee for Burberry, representing the UK’s most substantial brand on the runway. The leading British luxury brand showcased an outdoorsy elegance collection. One that is ideal for the British weather as The Guardian reports.

Daniel Lee defined his feeling for the artistic setup for the autumn/winter 2024 show as ‘A feeling of outdoorsy elegance, of comfort and warmth.’ Like inside a forest in the evening. The collection has earth-brown hues, blended with sodden greens.

The Burberry showcase had a star star-studded front row that included British models – Naomi Campbell, and Kren Elson, and celebrities like Joanna Lumley, and Barry Keoghan amongst others. All wearing the latest collection from Burberry in the hues of nude, olive green, and oatmeal. Designed to exude style edge and coziness. Styled with fuzzy duffle coats, leather belted field jackets, chunky scarves, chunky boots, silver-tasselled loafers, and plaid maxi-kilts. The collection is a mix of style, comfort, and warmth.

3. First ever Peruvian designer showcase: Genaro Rivas

The Genaro Rivas AW 24 is known to be the first collection ever presented at LFW by a Peruvian designer. The collection is called Beautiful James and is designed and crafted in East London. Using Peruvian fabrics and materials like alpaca, helped the designer to showcase the rich South American roots.

The collection is contemporary chic with classic silhouettes and shapes. It comes with a message that fashion should have a purpose for people, the community, and the collective. It marks the collaborative efforts of makers in East London and Peru who came together for creative expression via the showcase.

4. Indian presence: KGL upcycling debut show

Indian designer Kanika Goyal presented her label KGL at LFW. Defining the collection’s theme as innovation and collaboration, this was KGL’s debut showcase at LFW. The fabrics used honour the cultural craft tradition of India. Kanika worked with local artisans in New Delhi for embroidery while repurposing the fabric and textile waste from local mills. Uniting the old and new, Kanika’s KGL brand offers an ode to rich Indian heritage.

Highlights from her show are the use of deadstock denim to make patchwork designs and overall upcycling across her design process to reduce her environmental footprint. Accessories such as belts, bags, and trims were crafted in remaining factory stock and surplus cutouts to stay in tune with upcycling waste.

5. The mesmerizing opening show by Edward Crutchley

Known for his otherworldly and whimsical design, Crutchley opened the recently concluded season of LFW. The collection showcased is a traverse with time and space. Inspired by ancient Greece and Egypt, the collection has an unapologetic aesthetic of creativity and artisanal craftsmanship.
Broad shoulders, angelic dresses, minuscule sunglasses, ruffles, tapestry, crocheted dresses, and animalistic coats on defiant cowboys were a few highlights of the show. Transcending the viewer into a world of drama, intrigue, and extravagant flair. Each ensemble was bringing a new sense of innovation to maximalism in design. Defying the constraints of gender while exploring the social, historical, and cultural nuances of ancient Greece and Egypt.

6. Fashion Scout presents Sergazi Firenze

Under the Fashion Scout programme of ‘Ones to Watch’ Sergazi Firenze was presented by Fashion Scout, a partner organization for LFW that brings new talent to the runway. The new luxury brand is on the critic’s list of must-watch shows. The designer hails from Kazakhstan, now based in Florence, offered the audience an appealing visual walkthrough of handcrafted pieces. The highlight of the show was its blended use of contemporary silhouettes and material with traditional techniques. Such as combining cashmere craft with other luxury textiles.

7. Global Fashion Collective presents Alex S. Yu

Another key partner for LFW to bring out emerging talent to the global stage is the Global Fashion Collective (GFC). GFC presented the emerging designer Alex S. Yu at LFW. Alex S. Yu’s collection showcased garments with bright and luminously coloured tulle, archived prints, and a plethora of ruffles. Staying true to its core design elements, the showcase was packed with unconventional shapes, varied textures to enhance the design, dynamic prints, and vibrant colours.

This season of LFW saw designers ready to offer the glamour-hungry crowd a vibrant treat. Moving away from the monotone monotony and grungy streetwear style that usually dominates LFW. Designer like:

– Erdem offered the audience vivacious cocktail dresses, embellished skirts-suits, and grand operatic capes.

– Richard Quinn brings timeless couture creation to life with his burgeoning bridal collection.

– Marco Capaldo, the 2023 winner of the British Fashion Council/ Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, showcased sophisticated yet shimmering silver evening pieces. Inspired by misunderstood monsters and animalistic touches.

As LFW celebrated 40 years in the world of glitz and glamour, the devil was in the details of each collection. The fashion week gave us many awe-striking moments we eagerly await to see on the red carpet. Adorned by one of the leading ladies or men of theatre, TV, or films.

Stay tuned to the MBA ESG, India, blog for the latest updates on ongoing fashion weeks, luxury news, and global fashion happenings.

Author: Mankiran